18 March 2010

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Olive Oil Cake

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Olive Oil Cake
You can enjoy the benefits of olive oil in everything from dips and dressings to skin care and shampoo. It has been used in Mediterranean countries for thousands of years and has quickly become a staple here in North America and other parts of the world. California has some delicious olive oils that I was lucky enough to sample last year at the Foodbuzz Festival in San Francisco.  It’s actually a pure fruit juice and unlike most seed or vegetable oils, it does not require any heat or chemicals to extract the oil and needs no refinement. The oil can be consumed "as is" immediately after pressing. How perfect is that!! Olive oil can replace the fat in almost any recipe which makes it extremely versatile. It offers more nutrition and flavour than vegetable and seed oils, remains stable when heated and has a relatively high smoke point. Nature's gold!!!
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

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

32 comments:

  1. I'm beginning to see more and more cakes made with olive oil. The idea sounds fascinating as well as fabulous. I'm sure the Meyer lemon really made it special.
    Sam

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  2. I love the poppy seed and lemon combo too - I'm SO excited about an olive oil version! Hooray for healthful, delicious olive oil! :-)

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  3. Val, if only we could get Meyer lemons here...lemon cakes are a favourite of mine. In fact, most citrus cakes are a favourite. I'm bookmarking this to try...you can't say no to olive oil!

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  4. This looks fabulous, Valli. I love lemons, but don't think I've ever had Meyers before. I've definitely never seen it for sale, but admittedly never looked very hard. I'll search for it, this cake is an inspiration.

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  5. Olive oil is a wonderful thing! I have never tried it in a cake but, will now! It looks delicious and I can imagine it is nice and moist! Yum!

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  6. This really sounds delicious. I've done very little cooking with Meyer lemons. This recipe looks like it would be a perfect one to start with.

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  7. You've inspired me! I've been holding onto an olive oil cake recipe for a while now (no good excuse for not going ahead & baking it), but you've proven olive oil cakes can be done & done well! Bravo! I'm a big fan of Meyer Lemons & this cake sounds wonderful (as does your Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake).

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  8. I love Meyers, but they are not easy to come by here. Lucky you! When we lived in NY I could get them more readily (believe it or not) and Loved using them in cooking
    xoxo Pattie

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  9. Nice combo - the flavor of meyer lemon and the moistness of olive oil. Sure to be a winner.

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  10. I love lemon poppy seed cake as it is but with teh meyer lemons and the olive oil - out of this world! I bought some roasted garlic olive oil the last time I was in SF - loved it!

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  11. Sounds amazing! I will bookmark the recipe to make this weekend (I still have plenty of Meyer lemons left!)

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  12. That version with olive oil looks fantastic and so smooth!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  13. Yum! Be it in a cake or muffins - lemon poppyseed is one of my fave quick breads.

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  14. Wonderful! I have always wanted to try an olive oil cake.. and a meyer lemon.

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  15. poppy seeds are so fun--i love the tiny crunch they provide. it seems like they pair with nothing better than lemon, so this cake is pretty much perfect!

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  16. Lemon and poppy seed is such a classic combination. I think of it as the perfect cake flavor to go with afternoon tea.

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  17. I think I am going home to make this right now! It's thursday after all. Thanks! Ken

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  18. Thanks I have just retrieved a jar of poppy seeds from my son's cupboard and I was looking for a recipe, with olive oil I am in heaven !

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  19. I love using OO in cakes. This one sounds lovely - like addition of poppy seeds

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  20. Mmmmm...lemon cake. How I love lemon cake. There is just something about it. I haven't worked much with meyer lemons, so I should really try to do a dessert with them the next time I can get my hands on some.

    I have yet to try olive oil cake. I'm a little reluctant because I'm not a huge fan of the strong flavor of olive oil in breads (like when I make focaccia), but enough sweet flavors can temper that, so I really should put aside my prejudices and make an olive oil cake.

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  21. I would not have thought of using olive oil in cakes if it wasn't for reading it here. Does it not overwhelm the other flavours? This cake certainly looks and sounds good. Just checked out the olive oil and blood orange cake too which looks equally good.

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  22. This looks a lot like the olive oil cake I made in Italy. I might need to give it a try~
    Thanks bunches
    Sandi

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  23. The infamous meyer lemons! I still haven't found any. The cake looks fabulous. I am jealous of everyone who got to try a slice.

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  24. This is a winner cake, my dear! Great way to use the delicious Meyer lemons that are FINALLY back in season.

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  25. That looks amazing! Lemons + poppy seed = match made in heaven! Thanks for posting!

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  26. Meyer lemons are one of my most favorite fruits. Your cake looks fantastic...just like summer. I have yet to try olive oil in my cakes. I have it on my 'new things to try' list! :)

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  27. I have never seen Meyer lemons here in the UK where I live.
    Any cake that uses buttermilk is always really tender. Lovely.

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  28. Yes, olive oil cakes are very interesting, but I have never tasted them in a sweet version (with sugar)!

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  29. Your cake looks delicious Val. I have never come across a Meyer Lemon in NNY yet. Believe me, if and when I do, I'll be buying a lot of them!

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  30. Dear Vall this look absolutely yummy, you know, I love all with lemon, gloria

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  31. I would love this...I have a Meyer lemon tree in the backyard, I am waiting patiently for my first lemon! Want to try this! Looks delish Val!

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  32. Love it val... loive oil and poppy seed cake is just right for summer here. LOVE the new look of your blog too. It's refreshing! Sorry I've been missing!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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