|Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Olive Oil Cake|
I had a high degree of success with my Blood Orange Olive Cake so decided to adapt the recipe to one of my favourite tea breads... Lemon Poppy Seed. This gives you yet another option to try this outstanding and moist cake. I prefer cakes that are not overly sweet and just add that extra touch to serve your guests. Years and years ago when I used to volunteer at my daughters elementary school one of the teachers would bring lemon poppy seed cake every Thursday as a special treat. I don't need to tell you how I looked forward to Thursdays, and not only for the treats.
Although lemons may not be what you would choose for an afternoon snack, consider them to be a powerhouse when you want to bring out the flavour of other foods. You can use ordinary lemons for this cake as I have many times with excellent results. During my last trip to Choices Market low and behold...Meyer Lemons. They were even the same price as the ordinary lemons. I had hit pay dirt!! Meyer lemons are a citrus fruit, native to China, thought to be a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin orange or sweet orange. The fruit is yellow and it is rounder than a true lemon and once they are ripe they have a slightly orange tint to the fragrant, edible peel. They have a sweeter, less acidic flavor than the more common Lisbon or Eureka lemons that are typical in our grocery stores.
You can't help but envision images of sunshine and the sweet smiles of children standing roadside at their homemade lemonade stands in the summer. If you are in a part of the country where you are still longing for Spring this special treat will remind you of what's to come and you will be well on your way. Believe me when I tell you...did I just break out into song...this lemon cake will do you no wrong!!!!It is moist with a delicate crumb and worth every ooh and aah!!!
**Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Olive Oil Cake**
Butter for greasing pan
2-4 Meyer lemons (depending on their size) - you can also use ordinary lemons
1 cup sugar
Buttermilk (will be added to juice of Meyer lemon to be equivalent to approximately 3/4 cup)
3 large eggs
1-2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Icing sugar for finishing
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Grate zest from 2 lemons and place in a bowl with sugar. (If you want a more intense lemon flavour use your best judgement) Using your fingers, rub ingredients together until lemon zest is evenly distributed in sugar.
Halve remaining lemon(s) and squeeze juice into a measuring cup. You will have about 1/4 cup or so. Add buttermilk or yogurt to juice until you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether. Pour mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well. Whisk in eggs and add poppy seeds.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently whisk dry ingredients into wet ones. Switch to a spatula and fold in oil a little at a time. Scrape batter into pan and smooth top.
Bake cake for about 50 - 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up. Serve with whipped cream if desired. I adore my olive oil cake sprinkled liberally with icing sugar!!!
Serves 8 - 10