Saturday, January 29, 2011
Light Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf
The other day, I stepped out of the house on my daily stroll to school when I was hit with a spectacular sight—a winter wonderland. I realized how quiet and slow the world was, and how, for once, Americans were not rushing from place to place, but rather, enjoying the time in between. Of course, the reason they were so slow was because of the danger created by the snow, but I like to think that it was to finally appreciate the beauty of the world at 7 in the morning, especially when it was peppered with flakes of glitter.
Winter is a period of stagnation, a time where you can finally cut yourself some slack for indulging in rich delights. When I think of winter baking, I think of hot pies, dense cakes, and rich custards, which was why I was so surprised to find fresh Meyer lemons at my local supermarket. For some reason, lemons always seemed like a summer fruit to me, but apparently, winter is the time that they flourish. What a nice flavor lemons provide to help liven up the winter season!
I have to admit, I keep a huge bottle of lemon juice in my fridge, and yes, I use it. But after making this lemon loaf from fresh lemons, I doubt I will ever go back to that bottle. The intensity of the juice from fresh lemons is a thousand times stronger and finer than that which has been squeezed for months, and let’s face it, which plastic bottle can you get biting lemon zest from?
The aroma that erupts from the kitchen while this loaf is baking makes for a revitalizing and delicious air freshener. And what’s better, after your nose becomes satiated, your taste buds get their turn. Now everybody is happy.
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 beaten eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
lemon zest from one fresh lemon
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a medium sized bowl, shift together the flour and baking powder. Make a well in the center and set aside.
3. Cream oil and sugar, then add eggs, milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Mix in the poppy seeds.
4. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
5. In a small bowl, stir one tablespoon lemon juice and one tablespoon sugar together. As soon as the loaf comes out of the oven, brush this mixture on top.