Sometimes Simplicity Speaks Volumes. Our lemon loaf recipe is very straightforward. We do not add poppy seeds, pecans, or any other extraneous ingredient. We really feel that the most important aspect of a lemon loaf is the zingy lemon flavor, and we accentuate it by using a combination of freshly squeezed lemon juice, freshly grated lemon zest, and a mildly sweet lemon syrup. The sour cream gives this loaf a subtle tang and a dense, moist crumb that cannot be achieved with yogurt. If you want to increase the lemony goodness of these cakes, add the simple glaze after the syrup has set and the cakes are cool. This loaf freezes extremely well, so you can double the recipe and make a few extra loaves.
Sift both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
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. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
Sprinkle in the flour mixture, one third at a time, folding gently after each addition until just combined. Do not overmix.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.
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 half sheet 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.
(The soaked but unglazed loaves will keep, wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap and frozen, for up to 6 weeks.)
In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and
The glazed loaves will keep for up to 3 days, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
© 2008 All rights reserved. Published by Abrams Books.