BEL LAVORO OLIVE ORCHARD CELEBRATES NATIONAL OLIVE DAY WITH RECIPES SHOWCASING THE HEALTHY FRUIT
Finished mastering banana bread while cooking at home? Why not demonstrate your culinary prowess by baking an olive oil cake in honor of National Olive Day on June 1? Aimed to not only celebrate the olive itself, but also the many ways that the olive enriches our lives via food, oil and tea (yes tea), National Olive Day is the perfect excuse to try making something new. This year, Bel Lavoro Olive Orchards (family owned/operated), home to Cut1886 Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Steep Echo Tea, is marking National Olive Day by sharing some of their favorite recipes that showcase one of the world’s oldest (and healthy) fruits.
Created by Kim Branum, owner of Bel Lavoro, the recipes were developed using Cut1886 Extra Virgin Olive Oil and highlight a beautiful flavor profile. Medium bodied with a mix of herb and nut flavors and a touch of spice, the oil is perfectly balanced, crafted from a small batch and in limited quantities.
Cooking with olive oil provides many of the same health benefits that eating olives do, including the introduction of healthy fats. From olive oil cake to lemon bars and even ice cream, enjoy these olive-centric recipes and Happy National Olive Day.
Olive Oil Cake -- Bel Lavoro style
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; plus, more for pan
1 cup sugar; plus, more
2 cups cake flour
1/3 cup almond flour or hazelnut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice (if using regular lemon increase sugar to 1 cup).
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
Special Equipment needed - A 9"-diameter springform pan
Preheat oven to 400°F. Drizzle bottom and sides of pan with oil and use your fingers to coat. Line bottom with a round of parchment paper and smooth to eliminate air bubbles, coat parchment with more oil. Generously sprinkle pan with sugar and tilt to coat in an even layer. Whisk cake flour, almond/hazelnut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl to combine and eliminate any lumps. Stir together Grand Marnier, lemon juice, and vanilla in a small bowl.
Using an electric mixer on high speed (use whisk attachment if working with a stand mixer), beat eggs, lemon zest, and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl until mixture is very light, thick, pale, and falls off the whisk or beaters in a slowly dissolving ribbon, about 3 minutes if using a stand mixer and about 5 minutes if using a hand mixer. With mixer still on high speed, gradually stream in 1¼ cups oil and beat until incorporated and mixture is even thicker. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with Grand Marnier mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Fold batter several times with a large rubber spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of bowl. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth top, and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
Place cake in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until top is golden brown, center is firm to the touch, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40–50 minutes. Let cake cool in pan 15 minutes.
Poke holes all over top of cake with a toothpick or skewer and drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil; let it absorb. Let cool completely. For the best flavor and texture, wrap cake in plastic and let sit at room temperature at least a day before serving. Bake Ahead — this cake gets better. Cake can be baked 4 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.
Lemon Bars with Cut1886 Olive Oil
For the Crust
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into slices (or shredded)
For the Curd
4 to 6 lemons
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 yolks
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
Pinch of fine sea salt
4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 9" x 9” baking pan and line it with parchment paper, leaving 1" of overhang on the two long sides.
To make the crust, pulse together the flour, granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and salt in a food processor, or whisk together in a large bowl. Add butter and pulse (or use two knives or your fingers) to cut the butter into the flour until a crumbly dough forms. Press dough into prepared pan and bake crust for 23-35 minutes, or until golden.
While the shortbread is baking, prepare the lemon curd: Grate 1/2 tablespoon zest from lemons and set aside. Squeeze lemons to yield 3/4 cup juice.
In a small saucepan, whisk together lemon juice, sugar, eggs and yolks, cornstarch and fine sea salt over medium heat until boiling and thickened, 2 to 5 minutes. Make sure mixture comes to a boil and stays there for 30 seconds or so; you should see it thicken up before you take it off the heat. But once it boils do not cook for longer than 1 minute or you risk the curd thinning out again. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl. Whisk in butter, olive oil and lemon zest.
When the shortbread is ready, take it out of the oven and carefully pour the lemon curd onto the shortbread base; return the pan to the oven. Bake until topping is just set, 10 to 15 minutes more. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold before cutting into bars. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and flaky sea salt right before serving.
Bel Lavoro Olive Oil Ice Cream
Bring milk, cream, salt, and ½ cup sugar just to a simmer in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar; remove from heat.
Whisk egg yolks and 2 Tbsp. sugar in a medium bowl until pale, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk ½ cup hot milk mixture into yolks. Whisk yolk mixture into remaining milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2–3 minutes. Strain into a medium bowl set in a large bowl of ice water; whisk in oil. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Process custard in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer ice cream to a container, cover, and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
Serve with fresh figs or add in some roasted pepitas or pine nuts for a twist.
Steep Echo “Arnold Palmer” with Bloom
Brew pot of Bloom tea — use large tea pot with 3-4 sachets
Let cool (if you want to use honey for sweetener mix into warm tea)
Pour into large pitcher
Squeeze juice of 1-2 lemons (depending on size)
Fill pitcher with ice
Sweeten to taste (sugar, honey, stevia or simple syrup)
Garnish with fresh mint and lemon slices
Note: Bloom is high in immune-boosting ingredients. We like to sweeten with Manuka honey to keep our systems strong and healthy. This is a great treat for allergy season — and keeping us all safe and healthy. Enjoy.
About Bel Lavoro:
Owned and operated by the Branum family, Bel Lavoro was purchased sight unseen by this then Seattle-based family in 2010, and upon their first visit, the Branum’s discovered that olive trees surrounded their new home. After years of research, education and trial (and error), Kimberly Branum and her son Brandon dedicated themselves to developing products that are harvested by hand through timeless practices. Their calling has become their occupation and today they are ready to share the fruits of the labor: a collection of the finest organic teas and oils, drawn from fruits, vegetables and herbs irrigated by natural spring water.