Collecting lemons by the pound

My windfall at the moment is lemons.I´m having to think on my feet literally as every day  they come tumbling off the tree like a set of yellow balls rolling out of a lemon lottery machine. When life hands you lemons, you can make a lot more than lemonade.You can preserve them Moroccan style or use their acidic zing to brighten almost everything.Who would have thought you can even freeze freshly squeezed lemon juice in ice cube trays to preserve in small amounts. It's nice to have on hand when you forget to buy lemons for a recipe and haven´t got the time to pop out for just that one item.Lemon juice works as a natural household cleaner and it gets rid of odours too.If you have animals, lemon juice is a natural alternative to harmful weedkillers .For natural highlights squeeze some lemon on your hair before going out in the sun A little lemon juice, splashed into a dish at the very end of cooking, can be transformative. Even if its citrus notes are too subtle to notice, lemon adds a bright freshness, a finishing touch. It's a cook´s unheralded secret weapon.Sauces aside they amp up your baking ability.Some tart lemon makes for a wicked tart and while on the subject of tarts my rediscovery of the Shrewsbury pudding tart will dispose of 3 lemons from your glut while at the same time bringing an intense natural colour to your cooking.

If you have a penchant for a lemon tart try Peter Gordon´s and that will use up half a dozen lemons from your surplus.I recently baked a lemon pound cake with a lemon drizzle for double the citric intensity and when I was baking it I realised I had the added bonus of the kitchen smelling like a bakery,with a heady aroma of citrus.

Syrupy lemon pound cake 
Cheery, puckery, and tender, this lemon pound cake is what golden sunshine and happiness would look like if you could slice it and put it on a plate.Pucker up peeps, this lemon pound cake brings a triple threat of lemon and all its glorious tartness. First, there is lemon zest and juice in the batter. Second, the cake is soaked in lemon syrup, and to finish, the cake is coated with lemon icing.Pound and drizzle cake all in one.
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups (350 g) bread flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
Zest from 3 lemons
1/3 cup sour cream
4 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup lemon juice, from about 1 lemon

For the lemon syrup:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice, about 1 lemon
2 tablespoons water

For the icing:
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 Preheat oven to 325°F.
2 Prep the pan: Butter the bottom of a loaf pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper so it covers the bottom of the pan and goes up the long sides of the pan like a sling. The short sides shouldn’t be covered. Leave enough parchment hanging over each side so that you can easily lift the loaf out of the pan.
3 Whisk dry ingredients: Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
4 Begin making the batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the sugar, butter, and lemon zest on medium to medium high for 8 minutes. Stop occasionally to scrape down the bowl.
Add the sour cream and beat for one more minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. One at a time, add the eggs and egg yolk, scraping down the bowl between additions.
Add the lemon juice and beat for 1 more minute scrape down the sides of the bowl halfway through, and once more before adding the flour.
5 Add the flour to the batter: Set the stand mixer to stir (or the lowest setting) and add the flour mixture. Stir for about 1 minute or until the flour is just incorporated. Shut off the mixer and remove the bowl.
Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, and finish folding the ingredients together. The batter will be thick and velvety.
6 Bake the pound cake: Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake for 1 hour and 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
7 While the lemon cake bakes, make the lemon soaking syrup: In a small saucepan set over medium high heat, combine sugar, lemon juice, and water. Stir occasionally and bring to a low boil.
The syrup is ready when it looks transparent and is no longer cloudy. This should take about 5 minutes. Let the syrup cool.
8 Soak the cake with syrup:  Once the cake has finished baking, remove it from the oven. It will have a slight crack down the center. That’s ok. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
With the cake still in the pan, pour half of the lemon syrup over the entire cake. Let it soak in. Then pour the remaining syrup over the cake. Let it continue cooling in the pan for another 15 minutes.
Run a knife along the ends to help release the cake. Use the parchment sling to lift the cake out of the pan, and set it on a baking rack to let it cool completely.
9 While the cake cools, make the icing: Melt the butter,add the powdered sugar. Whisk together while adding the lemon juice one tablespoon at a time.
10 Frost the cake: Once the cake is completely cool, pour the icing over the lemon pound cake. Gently spread the icing so it completely covers the top. It should be white and thick. Slice and serve.


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