Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lemony Poppy Seed Loaf

Ok, who are we kidding? We call it loaf, but it's really cake. Fluffy, sweet, lemony goodness.

I made this last weekend-I was craving something sweet and tangy and wanted to make something to have on hand for when family was over.

My picky little 3 year old niece was the only one who wasn't a fan. She said "I can't like them little dirt balls" (poppy seeds) and wouldn't even try it. Oh well, more for us!

I couldn't find a recipe that I was really thrilled with...I wanted something that was worth my time.
(I'm getting really stingy with time, seeing as I have swollen ankles, and time until baby is rather limited.)

So I played around with an older recipe I had that was only so-so, and actually took the time to write down what I put in it, just in case it turned out. I can't count the times that I've made something really yummy, but then forgotten what the ingredients were, let alone what the measurements were!

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf (cake)
makes 2 loaves or one large bundt, Set oven to 325. Bake for approx 50 minutes. Butter and flour your pans beforehand and set aside.

1.5 cups sugar
4 tbsp grated lemon
1.5 cups butter (use the real deal.)
6 eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp pure vanilla
3 cups flour
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1 tsp salt
1tsp baking soda
3/4 cups sour cream

Icing: Lemon juice, Icing sugar, lemon zest.

Start by juicing and grating your lemon (s). I had a really big one, so I only needed one. You really could get by with bottled lemon juice and skip the zest...but it might not be quite as yummy.

Stir the zest into the sugar really well. This starts to release the lemon's oil into the sugar.
(I know, this sounds goofy. I heard it on a cooking show though once, so I figure that they know what they're talking about...or not. Just play along.)

Begin to cream the eggs and butter. It helps if your butter is already softened.
One thing that I have noticed though is the difference between regular grocery store chicken mill eggs and organic/free range eggs.
 If you want your cake to turn out really yellow, naturally, use organic or free range. The yolks are so much more bright and sunny compared to those poor ol' chicken mill eggs. Those sad chickens never see the light of day!
We're lucky to be able to buy free range really reasonably from a nearby Amish farm. 

Slowly add the lemon juice. If your butter wasn't soft already, it should break up a little easier now.

Pour the mixture you have so far into a mixer if you have one. You can do this entirely by hand if you don't, or you can use a hand mixer.
Squirt in a little vanilla, just for kicks.
Start to beat it up, you don't want the butter to be completely dissolved though. Try to get it to the consistency of small curd cottage cheese. Then Add the sour cream.

While that's mixing at a low setting, add your poppy seeds to your flour and stir them together. Also Add the salt, baking soda and baking powder.
Once it's thoroughly mixed, add it very slowly to the wet mixture, stirring constantly.
Once it's all added in, try to stir/mix it quickly to get it fluffed up a bit.

Pour into your two buttered/floured loaf pans (or one bundt.)  And then pop them in the oven for about 50 (agonizing) minutes at 325. Check the middle with a knife to see if it's cooked through.
Pull them out and let them cool about 10 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack or cutting board. While they're cooling is a perfect time to make your icing.

When it comes to icing I don't really measure. I just pour the icing sugar into a bowl and slowly add squirts of lemon juice, bits at a time, stirring, until I get the consistency I want.
This icing is supposed to be drizzly, runny type, so use a little more lemon juice than you normally would. You can also throw in some lemon zest if you like.
Drizzle the icing over the loaf however you like. I let the boys do ours, so we got a really fun little pattern.
Let it sit until the icing hardens up, and then slice.
 (or don't, and just eat it while it's all sticky. Your call.)
Hide the other loaf from your husband and children so that you'll actually be able to get your very own slice when they aren't looking.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm - looks delish. I have to make this. Thanks for the recipe!