At this time of year so many plants are in bud and trees are in leaf and the foraging season is well underway – hooray! This is the best time of year to forage young pine buds, which are more tender and flavourful than the mature pine needles. Larch buds are easy to notice as they are a vivid green and form soft brushes of new growth on that are easily reached on low-hanging branches. It’s delicious made into a pine sugar, which I talk you through in this recipe (which includes some tips for safe pine foraging). Here, the aromatic notes of pine add a grown-up twist to traditional lemon drizzle loaf. To make the lemon and pine drizzle loaf, you will need:
100g pine sugar (recipe linked above)
100g unsalted butter
120g self-raising flour
Zest of half a lemon
For the drizzle:
50g pine sugar
Juice of one lemon and the remaining zest (half).
Preheat your oven to 170C (150C Fan) and grease and line a loaf tin. Cream the butter and sugar until light and very fluffy – around five minutes. Add the eggs one at a time with a little flour, then fold in the rest of the flour until you have a loose batter.
Transfer the batter to the lined tin and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly, then turn out of the tin to cool a little more. Prepare the drizzle by mixing the pine sugar with the juice of a lemon.
Use a skewer to make holes in the surface of the loaf cake, then drizzle with the lemon juice and pine sugar mixture. Allow to set, then serve in slices.
Recipe by me.