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Friday, May 15, 2009

Lemon Love

Last Sunday for Mother's Day I decided to make a wonderful lemon cake for our moms. I was really excited because we have a beautiful, mature lemon tree in our backyard that is full of fruit. Not to mention that this gave me the opportunity to buy a bundt cake pan. Growing up, I can remember baking cakes in my mom's bundt cake pan. I love the shape and immediate fanciness of a cake that comes with using this pan.

I baked the cake without a hitch. The recipe is really simple and my Kitchen Aid mixer came in handy. I just dumped the ingredients into the bowl and turned it on. Also, I discovered the simplicity of Baker's Joy spray. No more greasy fingers and shaking the pan to coat it with flour.

Meyer Lemon Cake
Adapted from Great Aunt Ruby's Lemon Iced Cake at Chickens in the Road.

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups raw sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 3.4-ounce package (dry) instant lemon pudding
2/3 cup water
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon extract

After mixing the ingredients, I continued to let the mixer run for about 10 minutes to add fluff to the batter. I am not really sure if this did anything, but the original recipe called for it. I sprayed the bundt pan with Baker's Joy and baked it uncovered for 40 minutes, then covered it in foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. Once it was done (toothpick test), I turned it out onto a cake stand to cool.

Following the original recipe for the glaze, I asked my husband to pick me 3 lemons from our tree. I proceeded to grate the peel and capture the juice. As I mixed in the powdered sugar, it didn't seem thick enough. After adding extra sugar, I decided to use it as is - even if it was a little runny. The end result was fantastic. I can't wait to make it again.

After having the cake for Mother's Day, my mother in law asked about our lemon tree. She said that the lemons from her tree were getting soft. She showed me one and I noticed that it looked different from ours. The color was lighter and the shape was different. Our lemons are rounder and have an orange tint to the skin (see photo above). I decided to research different types of lemons to determine what kind of tree we have growing in our yard.

After a quick search, I have come to the conclusion that we have a Meyer Lemon tree. Apparently Meyer lemons are very juicy, much more than the other standard types. This would explain the problems with my glaze. Next time I will measure out the amount of juice so the glaze is a little thicker.


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