All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Monday, April 21, 2008

new york lemon cake!

This is my favorite cake of all. While I adore the carrot cake I make, and devour the frosting in record time, this is the cake I really, really love. Lemony, fluffy but substantial with a buttermilk batter, it's also a perfect cake to dress up with all those summer fruits that will be coming our way soon.
The history of the recipe is hazy. I got the recipe from someone, but later found it was nearly identical to one from the old Boston Globe magazine, and also the Silver Palate cookbook. The glaze I use is a very simple half fresh lemon juice/half sugar brought to a simmer. This cake also freezes well, and, thanks to the lemon juice, stays fresh much longer than most cakes. You can slice it, add filling or fruits or jams, top it, and pipe on some billowy whipped cream for a fancier presentation.
You will need:
1 9x12 baking pan, greased
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
zest of two lemons
a few scrapes of fresh nutmeg
3 eggs
3 cups flour (I use King Arthur)
3/4 t. baking soda
pinch salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 T. fresh lemon juice
Glaze: half sugar , half lemon juice - usually 1/2 cup each brought to a simmer.
In mixer bowl, beat sugar and butter til light and fluffy/creamy. Add nutmeg and lemon zest and beat again. Add eggs and mix again. Sift in the flour, soda, and salt, then the buttermilk. Add the lemon juice and scrape into baking pan.
Place in a 340' oven for an hour. The cake will be firm and puffed in the center when it's done, and there will be toasted circles on top of parts of the cake - that's fine.
Remove pan to cooling rack for 15 minutes. When it's cooled, mark off your squares or rectangles and cut. Remove cake pieces to a rack, and brush with warm lemon/sugar glaze- and more is better than less, in this case. Some people poke holes in the cake and then glaze it, so the glaze gets into the middle of the cake.

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