Friday, February 27, 2015

Lemon Strawberry Loaf

Lemons and Strawberries are great together. It's almost like the perfect "marriage" of tart, sweet and tangy.

Since I had 2 fresh lemons leftover from my "lemon saga" of making lemon pie filling, lemon no-bake cheesecake parfaits and candied lemon peel, I decided to use one of the remaining lemons for this recipe ... because I hadn't had enough lemon yet ... right! That lemon and a bag of sliced fresh strawberries in my freezer were about to get happy in my mixing bowl.

This Lemon Strawberry Loaf screams SPRING to me and I am so ready for SPRING! Then I can get some more luscious fresh strawberries from my friends at Willard Farms!

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
zest of 1 lemon
¾ cup buttermilk
1 heaping cup sliced strawberries
about 1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9 x 5 in. loaf pan, or 4 mini-loaf pans.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then beat in the lemon zest.

Lower the speed and mix in about ⅓ of the flour mixture, followed by ½ of the buttermilk. Repeat and finish with the remaining flour.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the strawberries into the batter. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with your spatula.

Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour (small pans 40-45 minutes). Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Once cool, sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl and whisk in enough lemon juice to make a thick glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and let it rest for a few minutes until the glaze hardens.

Cut in slices and serve.

Cook's note - this is a lovely dense loaf. Flavors are enhanced with the addition of the glaze so don't omit. Top with minced candied lemon peel if desired.