Lemon – SF

Posted on September 2, 2011


Well, hello there!  After a summertime hiatus, Bakers Bicoastal is up and running again.

Boy, it was a busy, crazy, awesome summer spent in Big Sur and the Pacific Northwest (check out our photos), with a brief stint to visit our family on the east coast.

I know.  You must be worried about the state of my kitchen.  A cold, lonely oven.  An unused ice cream machine.  A dusty mixing bowl.

But don’t you worry.  Just because we weren’t posting, doesn’t mean we weren’t thinking of you as we were whipping up some summer time treats in between our epic adventures, like:

Strawberry banana pudding.  My special Bay to Breakers zucchini bread.  And orange almond meringues.

Now that I’ve got your attention–I love the Barefoot Contessa’s lemon yogurt pound cake.  It’s a great recipe as is, or made in an 8’x8′ pan with some fresh berries tossed in.  This time, I decided to add an olive oil twist to complement my fresh melon sorbet made with a tooth-achingly sweet canary melon.

The olive oil was refreshing–a savory balance to the sugary melon.  You can skip the glaze (the cake is plenty sweet as is) but don’t skip the lemon soak which adds a lemony moistness that really makes it special.

Lemon Olive Oil Yogurt Cake

Adapted from Ina Garten.  Makes 1 pound cake loaf.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 heaping cup of plain yogurt (preferably full fat)
  • 3/4 cup plus 1/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of two medium size lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (if you have Meyer lemon olive oil, even better!)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (not the icky stuff in the plastic fake lemons)

For the glaze (optional)

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan.

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 3/4 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

4. Fold the olive oil into the batter, making sure it’s all incorporated.

5. 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.

6. Meanwhile, cook the 1/2 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

7. When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Poke the cake in several places with a fork or tooth pick.  While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

Optional glaze:

8. After the cake is completely cool, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

BONUS RECIPE!  Check out Heidi’s melon sorbet/sherbet recipe.  This is what I used for my canary melon sorbet, adding just a little bit of low-fat milk and a lot of fresh-squeezed lime juice.  Next time, I’ll use coconut milk and a little dark rum for a tropical happy hour variation.