Friday, October 21, 2011

Pumpkin~Orange Madeleines

In addition to pumpkin and gift giving, another memory of Kelly that comes to mind is her love of tea and "going" to Tea.  She took me to tea one Saturday in early October, before she started her chemo treatments, while the guys stayed at the house to watch a Kentucky football game.  Her favorite place was The Greentree Tearoom in Lexington, a lovely old house that is divided into an area for formal tea and the other half is a high-end antique store.  It's nestled in downtown Lexington, where old and new have blended quite nicely.

The tea we had that day was Earl Grey and it was brewed perfectly, but what I remember the most is the array of desserts in the center of the room that were displayed on a very large tiered table.  On that day, we feasted on Pumpkin Rolls, Bourbon Chocolate Pots de Creme, and Hot Apple Spice Cake, after our soup, scones with Marmalade & Fayette Cream, and dainty sandwiches and Kelly talked about how wonderful it would be to bring Erin and Maddie there...when Maddie was older.  It was an afternoon of hope and I'll always remember that fall day of afternoon tea.

Madeleines are a cakey-cookie that goes perfectly with tea.  Their distinctive shell-like characteristic comes from the pan they are baked in that has shell-shaped depressions.  There is some conflict when they were first made; some pastry books cite Madeleine Paulmier created these cookies in the 18th Century and that Louis XV gave them the name Madelienes in honor of her.  Others, however, think these little cakes didn't show up until the 19th Century in Commercy and Liverdun, two communities of the Lorraine region in the northeastern part of France.  To me, it doesn't really matter how long ago as I prepare to create a madeleine to honor Kelly and brew a pot of tea.

Pumpkin~Orange Madeleines

4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 T orange zest
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Lightly spray Madeleine pan with a baking spray and set aside.
Use a rasp to zest the orange.
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar thoroughly--6 to 8 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add orange zest and beat 1 minute more.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  (Don't be alarmed if the mixture looks curdled.)

Sift the dry ingredients or in a medium bowl, whisk them together.  Add the dry ingredients, alternately with the pumpkin to the batter.  Beat at medium speed 1 minute more after all ingredients have been incorporated.  Scrape down sides and mix together quickly.
Spoon batter into a piping bag, fitted with a large tip (#808 is what I used).  Pipe about 2 T. into each "shell".
Tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles and place in the preheated oven.
The Madeleines will bake 8-10 minutes.  In my oven, using the convection setting, it was 8 minutes!  Rotate pans after half the time--for me, it was 4 minutes, then, bake 4-5 minutes more until done.  The cookies will be lightly browned and when the tops are touched with your finger tips, they'll spring back. The recipe makes 2 dozen.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan about 5 minutes before transferring Madeleines to a rack to cool completely.  Using a small strainer, dust the tops with confectioners' sugar.
On this, as Winnie the Pooh says, "blustery day," I'm having my Madeleines with a cuppa Pomegranate Green Tea and remembering that sunny day in October and an afternoon of sharing tea with Kelly.
These wonderful, light, cake-like cookies are the perfect companion to a cuppa tea--invite a friend, a sister, your mother, or a daughter over and take time to make memories.  Enjoy!

The Pumpkin Pie Spice Give-Away goes to Denise!  Please email me your address so I can send it out to you.  Thank you all for posting.  Love always, XOXO


  1. What a wonderful memory. Karen and I always enjoyed going to the Huntington Library in San Marino for high tea. We'd visit the art galleries, walk the grounds and then have tea, sandwiches and those delightful wee desserts they always serve. Those times are among my dearest memories, too.

  2. You always get well-deserved props for your baking Susan, but I think Kelly would be really proud of how well written your entries are--I am. Hugs.

  3. Your post made me cry.  I just saw a picture the other day of Kel and me at the same  place when she took me for tea.  How I wish all us girls could go there together again

  4. Thanks for sharing another beautiful memory of Kelly. The Madeleines sound yummy!
    I'm thrilled to see that I won your pumpkin pie spice! :) I'll send you my info!

  5. Going to tea is a nice memory. There is Savvy Tea in Madison, CT where I have gone with a friend for high tea. But also go there to sit to have tea with my husband and purchase tea to take home. glad you have that memory.
    stamping sue

  6. What a beautiful post Susan. I wish we could also share a tea! My last madeleine baking attempt failed terribly. Maybe your recipe will work. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

  7. So nice of you to bake these delicious madeleines to honor Kelly. It is always beautiful to recall good memory of loved ones.

  8. these sound great! thanks for stopping by recently!

  9. Thanks for this. It's about to turn cold, cold, cold here in Fort Collins and an autumn tea party might be just the thing we need tonight. Thanks for inspiring! Tobi