I have a massive (2 big net bags full) oversupply of lemons. This is my beloved son Nick’s fault. He is doing chemistry and needed to do titrations to measure the loss of vitamin C in little containers of lemon juice which were placed all over the house including in front of the heater – not the most convenient place I have to say. They have been on window sills, making pulling of curtains interesting, on cabinets, in the spare room and in a vast array of other locations.
I was at the school musical after-party (a glass of wine for the staff) the other night and received an urgent txt asking me to go to the supermarket and buy more lemons of the exact same variety as the ones I have been buying for him, stat! So off I trotted, purchased a lot more lemons in the only supermarket in Dunedin that is open late at night only to find out when I got home, that he really only needed two more. Sigh. The upshot of this is that I now have rather a lot of lemons.
I like lemon flavoured baking more than almost any other flavour, a good thing when there is a surplus of this proportion. I like the tartness of them. Lemon honey mmm. Lemon merangue pie mmm, I could go on. So, I had a bit of a trawl through the elderly Alison Holst cookbooks my Mum has given me and in one called Simply Delicious I found this recipe for a Lemon Loaf. That is a very mediocre title for this recipe Alison, this is a crunchy moist loaf that is easy to make and fills the house with lovely lemony scents when it is baking. The topping is one of the best bits. Try it, its grand.
100g butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 lemon grated rind and juice, 2 eggs, 1.1/2 cups of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup milk. (Alison thinks you should add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or raisins or saltanas – I don’t) extra 1/4 cup sugar
Cream the butter and sugar. Grate in lemon rind then add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, then add them alternatively with the milk to the creamed mixture. Stir in the nuts or raisins if you want to use them. Put mixture into a loaf tin, a smallish one please. In the loaf tin you need to have baking paper which goes up over the top of the tin so that you can lift it out easily at the end. Bake at 180 degrees for about an hour, or until the sides of the loaf are pulling away from the side of the tin and a skewer in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
While it is cooking mix the 1/4 cup of sugar with the lemon juice and when it is cooked soon it over the loaf. Put the loaf back into the oven for 1 minute then remove, lift onto a rack and leave to cool. Slice when cold, (at this point Alison suggests you wait til the next day to slice it but, seriously that is just an unreasonable demand in my opinion.)