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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Lemon Cake — a blast from my past!

When I was young and had lots of free time, I developed my love of baking and cooking by working with my father in the kitchen. He was an amazing and intuitive cook and could remember flavors like some people remember places. But he did not like the feel of flour and never really got into baking — just eating — so that's when I started doing my own research and development. Clipping recipes from the NY Times, buying cookbooks and just making stuff up. This is also when I started my yearly tradition of making a small gift cookbook for my friends. I did it for many years, some years producing over 70 copies. This was when I was at the mercy of Kinkos! Oh the hours spent waiting and collating. Unfortunately, my busy schedule has prevented me from making these gift books in the past few years, but who knows? maybe this year I will get back to business.

This recipe for a simple — and rather delicious — lemon cake is from my first cookbook home-published in 1975 called Stacy's Occasional Eats which had 10 recipes typed by my mother Bernice and a silk screened cover. I think you can never go wrong with a lemon cake and everything you need to make it is probably in your kitchen right now! So give it a go, and remember the lemon can be exchanged for lime or orange or tangerine with delicious results!

1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9 × 5 × 3-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time. In separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Add alternately to sugar butter mixture with milk beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down sides of bowl throughout the mixing process. Pour into loaf pan and smooth out top. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean and top is golden brown.

While cake rests, in small saucepan combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the lemon juice and cook till sugar dissolves. Poke a number of toothpick holes in the cake and pour mixture slowly on top of the cake till it all soaks in. Let it cool completely in pan, then remove.

That's it, super easy. Whipped cream doesn't hurt!

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