Mmmm zesty and sweet!: Meyer lemon pound cake with meyer lemon curdNovember 29, 2006
Sorry, but the wife’s witty remarks won’t appear today. So you are stuck with just me, the Husband, today.
So where was I? What do I want to rant about? Oh right, Meyer lemons… For most of us on the East Coast of the US, getting these little gems is a treat. Confined mostly to the West Coast of the US because of their thin skin, meyer lemons are usually just the flavoring in large commercially produced products. Yet about a month ago, I saw them in my local grocer and decided I had to have them.
Now that I’ve stated my wanting for these lemons, I guess I should explain why they are so special as to ellicit such desire from a married man. Meyer lemons are not really lemons in the way most of us here in the US think of them. They were introduced to this country about a century ago from East Asia and are likely a hybrid between a lemon and a sweet orange. The result is a juicy citrus fruit that has an intense fragrance and a juice that is both sweet and tart. The problem is that they tend to have a thin skin, making them harder to get if you don’t live near where they grow. So when they appeared in my grocer, I bought.
So now that I had a bundle of these left-coast fruits, I wanted to make something that really allowed the fruit to show off. I mean these are out of town guests, you really have to show them a good time. So I gave them a simple place to shine—a pound cake with a nice lemon curd topping. The results were good.
The recipe has a pleasant lightness and tang of flavor from the curd, yet it has a nice filling feeling to it from the density of the pound cake. This combination is also flexible. I served this as dessert for a dinner party with a tiny bit of ice cream and some powdered sugar over the plate to fancy it up. Or, it can be served like it is in the photos for a simple treat.
I really love this recipe with all its flavor and little effort. The cake takes time to bake, but very little preparation time—the equivalent of making brownies. The curd is also very simple (though you do need to stand over it for 10 min), but can be used in many ways and as a topping for other things. If you can’t get meyer lemons, you can use regular ones. However, I would use at least one extra lemon in both recipes if you do. Meyer lemons are very juicy. I hope you enjoy a bit of springtime here in winter.
Meyer Lemon Pound Cake
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
3 large eggs
3 egg yokes
2 meyer lemons (zest and juice)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1. Preheat oven to 325F.
2. If you don’t have a non-stick one, grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
3. In a stand mixer, add the sugar and butter. Cream together on medium speed until light and fluffy (3 min). Stop about midway through and scrape down the sides and bottom to make sure all of the butter is being creamed.
4. Add the whole eggs one at a time to the mixer on low speed. Once all the whole eggs are integrated, add the egg yokes and integrate on slow speed.
5. Add the meyer lemons’ zest and juice. Mix completely.
6. Add the vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix completely.
7. Add the flour and slowly mix in. The moment all of the flour is integrated stop mixing. You do not want to over mix the batter. It will make the cake tough by creating too much gluten. If you are worried, feel free to add the flour 1/2 cup at time while hand folding the flour into the batter.
8. Pour the batter into your loaf pan. Place in oven and bake for 75-80 min. When the cake is done, toothpick should pull clean from the center.
9. Let cool for 15 min. Turn out onto a plate. Cut into slices. Serve with curd described bellow. Enjoy!
Meyer Lemon Curd:
3 egg yokes
2 meyer lemons (zest and juice)
3/4 cup sugar
4 Tbsp. butter
1. Place a pot or bottom part of a double boiler with and inch of water over medium high heat.
2. In a metal or glass bowl (wide enough to sit over the pot of water) or the top part of a double boiler, whisk together the yokes and sugar. It should be a sticky paste at this point.
3. Add the meyer lemon’s juice and zest and whisk until completely integrated.
4. Place the bowl over the pot or double boiler and whisk for 7-10 min. The mixture should start to thicken. You will know its done when it falls in ribbons or you can coat the back of a spoon easily and draw your finger though it with no curd covering. It should be thick. Remove from the heat.
5. Add 1 tablespoon and whisk into the mix using the residual heat to melt the butter. Don’t add the next tablespoon of butter until you can no longer see the previous one. If necessary, return over the double boiler.
6. Serve warm over anything you need a nice lemony zest. Or you can place in a container and cover with plastic wrap (pressed against the curd so no skin forms). It keeps for a week. It will thicken a bit more after cooled, but it actually is easier to spread at that point. Enjoy!