Spring is a lovely time of year . The winter is trying hard to warm up and there are bits of budding flowers poking through on the trees and grass.
With the sun shyly hiding behind the spring time clouds, I find my bit of sunshine in the form of a majestic Meyer Lemon. I love love love love love Meyer Lemons. I heard about these magical lemons for years, mostly from Martha Stewart who grows them in her greenhouse (if only I had a greenhouse!), but only had a lovely Meyer Lemon for myself a few years ago when my local Costco stocked them about three years ago. I hauled home a large container of Meyer Lemons because they weighed a pound less than the regular lemons I’d usually buy but, alas, I was there sans granny cart and needed to hand carry my heavy haul to my home that is about a half mile away.
What a fortunate day! I’ve discovered heaven in a lemon. These Meyer Lemons are slightly sweet, lemony goodness with a light herbal note. Delicious. It’s the best way to spruce up a boring glass of water or to add more sparkle to your seltzer. Amazing as the lemon portion of the lemon/olive oil dressing in a shaved fennel salad. Gorgeous thin sliced and baked on a nice white fish.
Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Pound Cake slathered with Meyer Lemon Curd
So how can you resist making Meyer Lemons into incredible edibles? You can’t. You need to make this poundcake and preserve the lemons in the form of curd for as long as you can. Try not to eat it all in a sitting and make sure you set some aside for friends as this recipe is perfect for sharing.
Meyer Lemon-Cornmeal Pound Cake
(adapted from Cupcake Muffin and Bon Appetit)
1 cup half white bread flour or all purpose flour
1 cup plus two tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 T Meyer lemon zest
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
1 T vanilla extract (less if yours is extraordinary)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup (packed) powdered sugar, whisked or sifted if there are loads of lumps that won’t come out
3 T (or more) Meyer lemon juice
1. Make your own buttermilk. Use 1 cup minus two tablespoons of lowfat milk –1% is fine– and add in 4 tablespoons of fresh Meyer lemon juice. Stir well and let sit for about five to ten minutes.
2. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla in small bowl. Fold buttermilk mixture and melted butter into flour mixture. Then mix in the extra 4 tablespoons of meyer lemon juice.
3. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes (covered) on the counter. I’ve left it soaking overnight in the fridge too and it works just as beautifully.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and lightly flour a loaf pan. Pour batter into greased and floured pan and spread evenly.
5. Bake at 350 about 40-45 minutes until the top is golden and the cake pulls away from sides of pan and a knife or other tester inserted in the center of the pound cake comes out clean. My oven runs a little cool so you might want to check it at 30-35 minutes if yours doesn’t.
4. Make glaze while the cake is baking. Whisk together powdered sugar, lemon juice and a pinch of salt — adding more lemon juice until it’s pourable. I err on the side of using more lemon juice and less sugar but the original recipe called for 1/2 cup more sugar than I used and makes a thicker glaze.
4. Let cake cook for about 5 minutes and pour glaze over cake ensuring the the entire top gets coated. It will seep into the sides of the pan so you can –prior to pouring– poke holes in the top to let the glaze soak more into the middle of the cake.
Close up of the crumb with the glaze on the top
5. Serve warm or fully cooled. It’s delicious either way. Since this cake isn’t super sweet, feel free to spread a little Meyer Lemon Curd on the slice to achieved one of the ultimate forms of lemony deliciousness!
Pound Cake with a giant pint and a half jar of curd lingering in the background