My family has a lemon addiction. Given the choice, we will always choose a lemon dessert over chocolate. One family member in particular was making me feel extremely guilty for not having made anything lemony for quite a while. That disgruntled family member would be quite happy if I gave her a spoon and a jar of homemade lemon curd. I chose instead to make this wonderful lemon loaf cake with a sauce of wild blueberries and dried tart cherries, and topped the two off with homemade lemon-poppy seed ice cream.
If you don't have enough time to make all three, make either the lemon loaf cake that bakes up with a beautiful, delicate crumb, and is delicious toasted for breakfast... or the lemon-poppy seed ice cream which I predict after tasting, you will make often.
I could also see the blueberry sauce drizzled over a stack of lemon-cornmeal pancakes... Yum
:: LEMON LOAF CAKE ::
a recipe by Norman Love-- from the book BAKING WITH JULIA
written by Dorie Greenspan
• 4 large eggs, room temperature
• 1 1/3 cups sugar
• Pinch of salt
• Grated zest of 3 large lemons (I used 6 small organic lemons)
• 1 3/4 cups cake flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
• 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan and dust with flour, shaking out the excess.
2. Working in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and salt for just a minute, until foamy and smoothly blended; the mixture should not thicken. Whisk in the grated zest.
3. 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--do not beat. Sift the flour over the eggs in two more additions and whisk only until everything is incorporated. Whisk the heavy cream into the mixture. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently and quickly fold in the melted butter.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake to a cooling rack to rest for 10 minutes, then unmold. Cool to room temp.
WILD BLUEBERRY-DRIED CHERRY SYRUP
• 1 cup fresh or frozen Wild Blueberries
• 1/3 cup dried sour cherries
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Place the first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes. Take from the heat, add the vanilla extract. Cool.
LEMON POPPY SEED ICE CREAM
adapted from a recipe by Susan Weaver
• 1 cup milk
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 6 eggs yolks
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
• Zest of 3 small organic lemons
1. Mix milk and heavy cream together in a saucepan and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks, 3 tablespoons of the milk and heavy cream mixture, and sugar together in a bowl and set aside.
2. Bring the milk and heavy cream mixture to a boil. Remove pan from the heat and slowly whisk into the egg yolk mixture. Return mixture to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the spoon. Remove pan from the heat. Strain the custard into a bowl. Stir the poppy seeds and lemon zest into the custard. Place in refrigerator and cool. Freeze according to ice cream machine directions. Makes about 2 cups.