Saturday, January 21, 2012

Best Damn Meyer Lemon Cake

I walked into our neighborhood store last weekend, and as I went to pick up a few fruits, I noticed a feeding frenzy in the produce department. Apparently, one of the great balancing acts of nature is that the brightly hued citrus fruits that seem to scream summer and sunshine actually come into their peak in the middle of the grey fog of winter. And to celebrate citrus season, the store had set out sampling stations of several different varieties, and the denizens of Portland were flocking to the colorful fruits like British sailors deprived of Vitamin C. Having never heard of some these fruits before (cocktail oranges? Persian limes?), I decided to brave the mob and try out some of the varieties myself. As I neared the end of the tasting line, my lips puckered by some of the tarter fruits, I spotted a recipe for something called the “Best Damn Meyer Lemon Cake”. Now that I knew what a Meyer lemon was, I figured I’d give this recipe a try.

Though I’m admittedly not a connoisseur of lemon cakes, I thought this cake was pretty darn good – definitely the “best” I’ve ever had. It was also quite easy to make. The toughest part was the many hours that the cake has to rest before cutting into it. (Ok I admit, I may have sampled a small sliver before the wait was up – just to compare the before and after, mind you.)

So, without further ado, here’s my adaptation for the “Best Damn Meyer Lemon Cake” originally featured in Saveur magazine Issue 110 and brought to my oven via New Season’s Market recipes.

Ingredients and directions

Oil spray or 1 T butter

9-inch loaf pan

2T fine dry bread crumbs (I used Panko that I had on hand)

11/2 C all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. salt

8 T melted butter

2 eggs

¾ C white sugar

½ C milk

2T lemon extract (yes, that sounds like a lot, but you will need it)

Zest of two Meyer lemons

½ C blanched almonds, ground to a fine powder

Spray or butter loaf pan

Dust with bread crumbs, and shake out excess

Pre-heat oven to 350 deg F

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl

In a separate bowl, whisk together butter and sugar until combined

Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition

Gently whisk together flour mixture, egg mixture, and milk till well-combined

Add lemon extract and whisk till combined

Fold in lemon zest and almond meal

Transfer the deliciously yellow batter to prepared loaf pan, and bake in pre-heated over for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean


Juice of 2 Meyer lemons

1/3 C white sugar

Heat together over medium flame until sugar is dissolved. Do not boil.

Once cake is done, prepare glaze, and pour immediately over hot cake

Allow cake to absorb glaze fully

Turn cake out onto a plate, cover with plastic wrap once fully cooled, and allow cake to rest for 10-24 hours at room temperature before serving -- it does in fact taste much better after the rest