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Monday, November 06, 2006

Meyer Lemon Loaf!

Now now....before you go saying "lemon? why, she must be's fall, where are the cranberry and pumpkin loaves?"
I will explain (short version): my older sister got me a tiny little Meyer lemon tree for my birthday in July, the tree had four little tiny green lemons on it when it arrived, the past two weeks the little lemons have turned that wonderful color that Meyer lemons turn, and today I just had to pick them. The smell alone was enough to put me in a different place. The smell of sunshine packed into a nice yellow rind. These were small Meyer lemons, compared to the ones I have gotten at the farmer's market, but I don't care.
I grew them, they rock! Just look at those golden glowing beauties!

I found the recipe for the Lemon Loaf in my copy of Desserts by Pierre Herme. It yields two wonderfully tart loaves, a touch lighter than pound cake. He suggests putting a thin layer of lemon marmalade over the top once it is baked, and I bet this would be very good.
I just brushed the loaves with some lemon simple syrup once they came out of the oven this gave them a lovely sheen and a little extra pucker power. Mmmmm.

Lemon Loaves:
2 2/3 cups cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
Zest of three lemons, minced (I used my Meyer lemons, store bought lemons will be fine)
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream (the recipe calls for creme fraiche, this is what I had on hand) at room temperature
3 1/2 Tbsp rum (I didn't have any rum, so I used some fresh squeezed lemon juice, rum would probably be really good though)
pinch of salt
4 1/2 ounces butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, juice from one lemon (for the simple syrup) ______________________________
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 loaf pans, I used 7x3x2" or
something like that...they are the "disposable" aluminum ones that I never really dispose of), tap out excess flour.
-Sift together the cake flour and baking powder, set aside.
-Place the sugar and the lemon zest in a large mixing bowl, and rub together until the sugar is lemon scented and a bit clumpy. Add the eggs and beat with a whisk until the mixture is a light lemon color and thickened a bit.
-Whisk in the sour cream then the salt, then the rum.
-Gently whisk in the flour in four parts, then whisk the butter in in three parts. You will have a lovely thick yet pourable batter flecked with lemon zest.
-Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans and bake for about 55 minutes, or until the top doesn't sink in when lightly pressed. The tops of the loaves should split open beautifully revealing their creamy pale yellow innards.
-While the loaves are baking, boil together the sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.
-Turn the loaves out of their pans onto a cooling rack and brush liberally with the lemon syrup, repeat brushing as you feel necessary. Let cool. Make a nice cup of tea and enjoy.

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Anonymous said...

hummm, delicious cakes and recipes, what a pity this blog publish in english, i´m portuguese and i´m very difficulty to translate this recipes and the measure. Congratulations

Brilynn said...

I like how the tops exploded, and those little lemons looked like they were just calling out to be made into something tasty.

Jessica Koala said...

You had to ruin those lovely lemmons with sugar and wheat? Oh jeesh. Don't you know. Treat your food Jently. I think that's what I mean. Oh wait, you did treat them Jently. You just made what could well have been lovely lemons into something I just can't eat, and I'm sad about that. Mostly I'm just sad. I haven't seen you and Geoff, where are you two?

Jigme Datse

Jen the bread freak said...

anabela, Thank you for your compliments, I'm sorry it is difficult to translate :(

Jen the bread freak said...

Hello brilynn, yes, the lemons have been calling to me since they started to ripen. These loaves turned out beautifully, I'm a very proud baker :)

Jen the bread freak said...

Hi Jess,

Well, G and I have been slacking quite a bit internet wise. I post here and that's about it and with the recent election his work has been very busy, so he's working a lot more hours than before. If it makes you feel better, I did save one lemon just for tea purposes :)

Helene said...

Lovely recipe! I have yet to taste a Meyer lemon...I might just have to get my own tree!
I did your "pain de campagne" recipe for the WBD After Hours party. It was delicious!

Jen the bread freak said...

Thank you Helene! It was a very lovely loaf :). I believe my sister purchased that tiny tree from, of all places. I'm so happy you liked my PDC bread! I will be working out a few WBD afterhours party recipes to try out in the next day or so.

vanessa said...

Jen, lemons in November couldn't be more welcome. After all that heavy sweet and savory food from Thanksgiving I'm so craving light, fresh, spicy, and sour. I once grew Meyers when I lived in Cali and they do smell so sweet, a memory I still retain. I'll be stopping by Whole Foods to see if I can pick some up and I'll give your recipe a try. I love your blog, you photos and writing are most appealing.

Jen the bread freak said...

Thank you so much for your kind words! It makes me glad to know that people are enjoying my blog :). I couldn't agree more about lemons in November. The smell while zesting them was amazing! Have fun with the recipe!

Karen Morss said...

Hi Everybody,

We have an organic Meyer Lemon orchard with 40 trees. So if you ever need fresh Meyer lemons, please visit us at


Susan from Food Blogga said...

Hi Jen,

Just saw this recipe from Recipegirl's blog and came over. I'm on a serious citrus bent right now, and with a bowlful of gorgeous Meyer lemons on my table, this cake may be next.

ccahua said...

very yummy! thank you for posting a great recipe.
our friends gave us some meyers that fell off their tree and i searched for a simple lemon cake recipe but many called for lemon pudding or some other binder. Luckily I had some sour cream left, and was able for the most part keep the recipe intact minus some butter, rum and 1 1/3 cake flour. It still turned out sweet from the Mexican sugar but the lemon syrup was the saving grace after riddling the cake with toothpick holes.

Diane said...

I am eager to try his recipe for an Easter brunch. Could I use a single pan (10 1/4 X 3 1/2 X
2 3/4 deep) or is it too much batter? Thanks.

Tisha said...

I'm so excited. I just bought 3 1lb. bags of meyer lemons and didn't know what to do with them so I googled "meyer lemon recipes" and happened upon the loaf recipe. Well, I pulled them out of the oven about 30min. ago it tastes soooooo good. I don't drink alcohol so I bought rum extract and put maybe 2tsp. of it in the recipe. I also squeezed the juice of one meyer lemon into the batter. I'll be taking the extra loaf to work tomorrow to share. What a wonderful recipe!

rebeca pacheco said...

Great recipe... I have a Meyer lemon dwarf tree and we love this time of year to have them! I can't wait to add this loaf to my Christmas treats gifts!

rebeca pacheco said...

I just made this and it came out PERFECT!! I did use the creme fraiche instead of sour cream. I also added vanilla bean to the simple syrup... YUM!!! Thanks again!