Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Meyer Lemon Pound Cake
Meyer lemons hold a special place in my heart. My Grandfather who lives in Danville, CA has a Meyer lemon tree at his house, so every time I get a whiff of a Meyer lemon, it makes me think of my grandfather and his fabulous Whiskey Sours. For those of you who have never experienced the bliss, Meyer lemons are a hybrid of a lemon and a mandarin.
As soon as Meyers hit Costco, Curtis brought me home a container. First I made a huge pan of lemon bars and single handedly consumed most of them. Next we moved on to cocktails and this past weekend I made Meyer lemon pound cake. I still have lemons left … so if you have any good ideas, throw them my way! I asked my girlfriend Colleen (who made the same Costco purchase) what she did with hers and she replied, “I put them in a tall vase.” Duh! They’re so pretty and smell so good, that’s the perfect thing to do with them!
Lemon Pound Cake
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), plus 1 tablespoon, softened, for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups cake flour (6 ounces), plus 1 tablespoon for dusting pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (8 3/4 ounces)
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest plus 2 teaspoons juice from 2 medium lemons (I didn’t want regular ‘ol poundcake, I wanted LEMON pound cake, so I used at least a ½ cup of Meyer lemon juice and lots of zest)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Lemon Glaze (Optional) (this may be "optional" but it makes it!)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup lemon juice , from 1 or 2 medium lemons
Ice Cream (Required)
Haagen-Dazs five vanilla bean (Passion Fruit is my all time favorite “five” flavor, but I didn’t want to steal the limelight from the lemon flavor, so we just went with plain vanilla)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with 1 tablespoon softened butter; dust with 1 tablespoon cake flour, tapping out excess. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
2. In glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter, covered with plastic wrap, at full power until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. (GENIOUS! I always have butter explode all over my microwave, I will always cover it in plastic wrap from now on!).
3. In food processor, process sugar and zest until combined, about five 1-second pulses. Add lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla; process until combined, about 5 seconds. With machine running, add melted butter through feed tube in steady stream (this should take about 20 seconds). Transfer mixture to large bowl. Sift flour mixture over eggs in three steps, whisking gently after each addition until just combined.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue to bake until deep golden brown and skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto wire rack.
5. If using lemon glaze, while cake is cooling in pan, bring sugar and lemon juice to boil in small nonreactive saucepan, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
6. After turning cake onto wire rack, poke the cake's top and sides with a toothpick and brush on Lemon Glaze (I added a small scoop of ice cream and just spooned the lemon glaze over each slice when I served it). Cool to room temperature, at least 1 hour. (Cooled cake can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.)