When I was a junior in college I took an internship in London for the summer working for a party planner. This particular party planner happened to be the Queen’s cousin. Yes, THE Queen. Buckingham Palace. The whole deal. Unfortunately, this internship was rather heinous. And the Queen’s cousin…have you seen The Devil Wears Prada? I’m not exaggerating. I was Anne Hathaway, but without the fashion closet full of designer clothes. It was AWFUL. There was crying.
BUT, there was also teatime. Every day. Without fail. It was a small light at the end of the tunnel that was my day: breakfast, torture, lunch, torture, TEATIME, torture, PUB. (The pub helped, too.)
Anyways…the Devil employed a wonderful, grandmotherly English woman who baked fresh teatime sweets everyday: shortbread, petit fours, and LEMON POUND CAKE. Have I mentioned before how much I adore lemon anything? I do. She may not know it, but she and I were BFF for those two months. And the thought of her lemon pound cake pulled me through more envelope licking than she will ever know.
So, when my mom returned from Dublin on Thursday (yay!) with stories of teatime and European desserts, I was instantly reminded of the sweet English housekeeper and her lemon pound cake. I had to have it. And this Lemon Lemon Lemon Loaf is pure perfection. Plus, it fits right in with my mom’s strange new habit of saying certain words three times in a row…(“right, right, right”?) Help me out here Dublin-ites…
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray the sides and bottom of two 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper, and spray the paper.
Sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
Zest and juice the lemons.
Put the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until combined. With the motor running, drizzle the butter in through the feed tube. Add the sour cream and vanilla and pulse until combined.
Tranfer the mixture to a large bowl.
Sprinkle the flour mixture, 1/3 at a time, into the sugar mixture. Fold gently after each addition until just combined. Be careful not to overmix!
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, and bake for another 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Let the lemon loafs cool in their pans for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the lemon syrup and the lemon glaze.
For the Lemon Syrup, Gather Up:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
For the Lemon Glaze, Gather Up:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper, and invert the loaves onto the pan. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the loaves.
Brush the tops and sides of the loaves with the lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake, and brush again. Let the cakes cool completely, at least 30 minutes.
To make the glaze, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let harden before serving, about 15 minutes.
Welcome home, mom! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! (Does it work here? I’m so confused…)
Recipe from Epicurious makes two scrumptious loaves.