Friday, July 27, 2012

Lemon Loaf Cake

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1⅓ cups sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Grated zest of 3 large lemons
  • 1¾ cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 5½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F.  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 - there's no need to 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 and scrape the batter into the prepared pan - it will level itself - and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, 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 the rack.
  5. You can serve this cake as soon as it cools, although there are those who believe that a pound cake needs a day to ripen.  Make a taste test for yourself.  In any case, the cake should be sliced with a serrated knife and served in thin slices.

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