The BLD Lemon Poppyseed Loaf

I have a confession to make. I don’t love lemon desserts. I know, it’s controversial, shocking, the little old ladies at tea are gasping in horror. “How can you not like lemon desserts? What about lemon meringue pie?? What about lemon gelato??? What is wrong with you?!”. People are weirdly protective over their lemon sweets but hey, I’m just being honest. I can actually trace my lukewarm feelings toward lemon desserts back to when I caught the flu one childhood Christmas, and the last thing I had eaten at a church bazaar was lemon pound cake. It ended up all over my bedspread and I didn’t touch the stuff for years.

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Despite my lemon pie PTSD, I do have a soft spot for lemon poppyseed loaves. Ina Garten makes a fantastic straight-up glazed lemon loaf, but I particularly like the moist tartness together with the nutty character the poppyseeds in this version. I could eat this entire thing in one sitting – truly. I already have an issue with keeping loaves in the house (they’re basically like bread and therefore definitely a BLD (breakfast, lunch, and dinner appropriate food)). I like to glaze my citrus loaves twice, for a cake moistness + that frosty crunch on top.

Toast some up with butter and raspberry jam for a real tea time treat, or cube the loaf and make it into a trifle if you please. You can’t go wrong!

Adapted from Ottolenghi’s Sweets Cookbook.

Makes 1 loaf
  • eggs (room temperature)
  • cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 / 2 cup heavy cream (as close to room temperature as possible)
  • tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, room temperature
  • tablespoon poppyseeds
  • Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (1 tablespoon)
  • 1 1 / 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1 / 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 / 4 teaspoon salt
Glaze
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Frosty Glaze
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice (plus more if needed)
  1. Heat the oven to 350° (180° C). Grease the loaf pan and line with parchment paper, then set aside.
  2. Place the eggs and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until pale and frothy. Add the cream and continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the mixture has combined, thickened a little, and turned pale.
  3. In the meantime, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stir in the poppy seeds and lemon zest, and set aside.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl, then use a spatula to fold this into the egg mixture before folding in the butter, poppy seeds, and zest.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan so that it rises three-quarters of the way up the sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. To make the first glaze, heat the granulated sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved.
  7. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Do this SLOWLY, or it won’t sink in and will just slide down onto the plate. Take your time!
  8. Set aside to cool for 40 minutes in the pan. Once at room temperature, tae it out of the pan and place on a wire rack.
  9. Now, make the frosty glaze and pour carefully over the top. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes until it’s dry.

 

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