for the love of lemon torte
December 15, 2011 § Leave a comment
I love lemon squares. My love for it started when I tasted my Lolo Domeng’s version of it when we went to Hawaii to visit him. He served the US Navy as a head cook (I don’t really know the term for it) and my stomach can attest to all his kitchen prowess. He even told me he can cook a hundred things with eggs. So infected was I with the lemon square fever that one of the things I missed from Hawaii was in fact, lemon squares! When I got back to the Philippines, I immediately went lemon square hunting and stumbled upon Mary Grace’s quite pricey yet very tiny lemon squares. After several weeks splurging my allowance on those tiny lemon squares and of still thinking about my Lolo’s lemon squares, I finally decided to send my Lola an email and ask her for the recipe (Lolo Domeng isn’t computer savy whereas Lola Elisa is a pro when it comes to her Mac). Upon receiving the much-awaited instructions, I instantly set off to buying all the lemons, eggs, butter, flour and sugar, and whatever to finally sink my teeth on some thick lemon squares. Unfortunately, my lemon square project came out a bit on the raw side. As usual, when a cooking project of mine goes awry, I go to my dad with a sad face and force him to help me eat it when no one will.
Me: walang gusto kumain :( [while holding the lemon squares in front of him]
Me: masarap naman e! hilaw lang yung gitna
Ama: bigay mo kay Dado (our dog)
Me: MAMOOTTIIIII!!!!! (that’s what we call our dad…it’s derived from the base word “ama” haha)
Ama: I’ll think about it
Me: okay! :) I’ll put it in the ref!
My dad picked out the cooked edges and I had to surrender to giving the center part to Dado. As usual, I got the admonishment not to do it again and just buy lemon squares instead. I wasn’t up to manually squeezing so many lemons anytime soon anyway, but I kept the recipe in my memorable-things-box just to be sure.
Last week, my friends Rosali, Milcha and I decided to have a late night snack at Sugarhouse Glorietta. Rosali chose a cheesecake, I got French Apple Pie, and Milcha picked the unassuming Lemon Torte. As with all caking-with-friends are, we tasted each other’s cakes. On my first forkful of the Lemon Torte, I had to instantly declare my love for it! I loved it so much that I think I consumed a third of Milcha’s cake and the morning after, I had to text my fellow lemonsquare-lover, Ray, to try it A.S.A.P. And because I simply couldn’t get over the fact that a lemonsquare could exist as a cake, when my friend, Marge, told me she’d treat me for dessert a few days after that, I knew where exactly to take her. Needless to say, we went to Sugarhouse and this time, I picked the Lemon Torte myself. And because 2 slices haven’t quite satiated my cravings for it, I decided to buy a Lemon Torte for my dad on his birthday (which was yesterday). I placed a reservation for the cake on advance and called twice just to assure it.
So yesterday, I went there in the morning to claim the coveted cake. I asked the cashier for my lemon torte and gave her my name. The people there looked at each other point-blank and mumbled a few things. The smile I had when I walked in melted and I mustered all the courage to ask the dreaded, “andyan ba yung lemon torte ko, kuya?”. And then started the litany of excuses. They asked me if I wanted a different cake, and I replied midway to tears that it was the Lemon Torte I wanted and nothing else. I think I looked bewildered enough that they decided to call their other branches and ask if they had a Lemon Torte. After a few calls and me refusing to sit down until they got it settled, they finally found one and asked me if I could possibly go back that same afternoon to pick it up. I was nice yesterday, so I said, “okay, fine.” I said okay while trying to quickly reschedule and rearrange all my afternoon errands which included take my Lola to the salon, take my mom to the hospital, buy a few things from the grocery, and cook my dad’s birthday dinner. So after all that jazz, I had to go back to Glorietta around 7 in the evening to pick up the cake and be back before my dad came home. Anyway, everything worked out as planned, and finally the cake slicing:
Me: [very excited] CAAKE TIMEEE!! masarap yaan!
Mommy Auring: hmm, masyadong matamis
Gab: okay lang
Ama: too sweet, anak. masarap lang yung gilid
Me: whaaat?? masarap nga yung gitna e
Me: [exasperated] eh siyempre, lemon torte yan! you people are weird!!! T_T
Ama: akina, bigyan mo pa ako isang slice para maubos na
Me: anong “maubos na”? :| next time I’ll buy you a BITTER cake
Ama: you’re already bitter, enough na yun [obviously mocking me]
And that ends my short-lived love affair with Sugarhouse’s Lemon Torte. But don’t get me wrong, this sansrival turned lemon square cake is a must try! :) But after 2 more slices, I think I’ve had enough lemon for the year. Anyway, next year isn’t that far off. Maybe I should give my Lolo Domeng’s lemon square recipe another shot.
If life gives me lemons, I’ll make a lemon square! :)
*photo is from http://www.dailydiscountscorner.com