Monday, November 06, 2006
Meyer Lemon Loaf!
Now now....before you go saying "lemon? why, she must be barmy....it'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.
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.