When you harvest fresh fruit from a Meyer lemon tree in the dark of winter you hold summer in your hand. The fragrance of the blossoms. The glossy leaves shining in the gray light. Your fingers caressing the finely textured skin. Then the heavenly taste of the juice – at once sweet and sour.
You can do many wonderful things with these delicate lemons, but I was yearning for something classic, simple, old fashioned.
I have a cookbook that is a particular favorite. I have been baking out of it for more than forty years. A World Of Baking by Dolores Casella has provided me with dozens of quick and yeast bread recipes. The ingredients are readily available. The instructions are always brief. It is expected you already know the basics of baking.
Meyer Lemon Nut Bread has a fine crumb. It’s rich tasting, studded with walnuts and finished with lemon syrup. Regular lemons work just as well. Be lavish with your lemon rind. The recipe calls for a teaspoon but I scrape every bit of rind from the lemons into the batter.
|OLD FASHIONED MEYER LEMON NUT BREAD|| |
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1¼ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup coarsely chopped roasted walnuts. To roast walnuts put the unchopped nuts in a small pan and roast in the 350F oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Watch closed to avoid scorching.
- 1 generous teaspoon grated lemon rind
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- Heat oven to 350F.
- Butter a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan and lightly dust with a little flour.
- Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- Cream butter and the ¾ cup of sugar until fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
- Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
- Fold in the chopped nuts and the grated rind.
- Turn into loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until loaf is browned and done. A skewer inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean.
- While the loaf is baking make your sugar syrup by mixing ⅓ cup lemon juice and ¼ cup sugar in a small saucepan.
- Stir the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Continue cooking for a couple of minutes more than remove from the heat and set aside.
- When your loaf is baked leave it in the pan and make several holes in the bread with the skewer.
- Spoon the syrup over the hot loaf and cool on rack for 20 minutes before turning of a pan.