I couldn’t resist! Here it is, the Lemon Loaf Cake from Baking with Julia. I altered one step. Instead of adding the lemon zest to the batter, I mixed it in with the sugar and crushed it around a bit so that the sugar became lemony and fragrant. I’m not sure if it really made a difference or if the lemons released any more essential oils than they would have otherwise, but it was sort of fun making the sugar all lemony. And the end result was a very good cake. It’s as tight crumbed and dense as a good creamed pound cake and a hundred times simpler. I’ve leaving it un-iced and will serve it with whipped cream and berries, as usual.
Lemon Loaf Cake
1 1/3 cups sugar (250 grams)
Grated zest of 3 large lemons
4 large eggs at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups cake flour (7 oz/196 grams)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (80 grams)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. With your fingers or back of a spoon, rub the lemon zest with the sugar to release its oils.
To the sugar, add the eggs and salt and whisk just a minute, until foamy and smoothly blended; the mixture should not thicken.
Spoon the flour and baking powder into a sifter and sift about a third of the dry ingredients over the foamy egg mixture. Whisk the flour into the eggs, mixing lightly. Sift the flour over the eggs in two more additions and whisk only until everything is incorporated. Whisk the heavy cream into the mixture. Fold in the melted butter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan – it will level itself – and bake for 50 to 60 minutes (mine took 60), or until the center of the cake crowns and cracks and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake to a cooling rack to rest for 10 minutes before unmolding. Cool to room temperature right side up on a rack.
When cool, wrap tightly with foil or plastic wrap. Cake should keep for 3 or 4 days.
Adapted from Baking With Julia