I’ve loved lemons for as long as I can remember. It’s a love that I share with my mom. We specifically ask for “extra lemon” with our drinks so that we’ll have a cache for refills. Places that take our request seriously and bring us a bowl full of wedges instead of one extra perched on the rim of the glass get extra points. Every glass of water I pour for myself has a good squirt of lemon in it. We go through the stuff like crazy. So, three years ago we bought a Meyer lemon tree.
It’s first year of life in our backyard was, as expected, rather dull. No lovely yellow orbs hung from it’s spindly branches. Year number two, it was feeling a bit stronger and managed to push out around a dozen big juicies. So when year three came trotting around, we expected oh… 30+ lemons. That would have been great. But…
Despite the massive amount of blossoms that bedecked the tree in the spring, we still didn’t anticipate a total harvest of over 250 lemons. We ate them, we gave them away, we made pies, we gave more away, we decorated with them, we made lemonade, we sliced, squeezed, and well… enjoyed having such bounty.
During the week after Christmas, we decided to harvest the last few before they rotted or froze. There ended up being 138 “last few”. It took 2 full evenings to completely process them.
We couldn’t let all that wonderful zest go to waste, so my sister and I wielded the micro grater and saved as much as we could. My mom chose to use the zester and thus received lovely goldilock curls. After the juice was strained, we bottled some for immediate use and froze the rest in ice cubes trays. We’ll use these later when we need to make a lemon cake or ward off scurvy. 😉
One of my favorite lemon desserts is Ina Garten’s Lemon Yogurt Cake. Enjoy!
For the cake:
~ 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
~ 2 teaspoons baking powder
~ 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
~ 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
~ 1 cup sugar
~ 3 extra-large eggs
~ 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
~ 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
~ 1/2 cup vegetable oil
For the syrup:
~ 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
~ 1/3 cup sugar
For the glaze:
~ 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
~ 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, make the syrup by cooking the lemon juice and sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the syrup over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cooled cake.