Lemons, Baby

I love lemon recipes. Drinks, cakes and other desserts. Yummo. Lemons are refreshing in much the same way as mint. Cooling. Which is soooo needed in August. Well, late summer and early fall. At least, where I live it’s needed. Even if it isn’t, it’s still delicious.

The first recipe is for a poundcake. It will beat any coffeecake or loaf cake hands down. The second is an adult beverage. The ubiquitous Lemon Drop Martini. I had my first at the Brewhouse in Alaska. Haven’t looked back since. The last recipe is for Moroccan preserved lemons. Preserved lemons are fabulous in many recipes, not just middle eastern ones. But to do justice to any recipe from that region of the world, preserved lemons are a must.


Lemon Blueberry Poundcake


1/3 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 egg shite
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups fresh
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) lemon yogurt


1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

1. Grease and flour a 10-in. fluted tube pan. In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until blended. Add eggs and egg white, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla.
2. Toss blueberries with 2 tablespoons flour. In another bowl, mix the remaining flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with yogurt, beating after each addition just until combined. Fold in blueberry mixture.
3. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to wire rack; cool for 15 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, mix confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Gradually brush onto warm cake, about one-third at a time, allowing glaze to soak into cake before adding more. Cool completely.


Lemon Drop aka Lemon Martini

1 & 1/2 oz  citron vodka (aka 3 tbsp)
Squeeze 1/4 lemon juice (1 tbsp)
splash fresh lime juice
1 oz sugar syrup (2 tbsp)

Sugar syrup is easy: one cup of sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water over heat, then allow to cool.

Shake it with lots of ice to make it really cold and bring out the bright lemon flavors.

Bottled lemon juice and bottled lime juice can be used.


Moroccan Preserved Lemons

5-6 lemons or 6-7 Meyer lemons

1. Scrub the lemons with a vegetable brush and dry them off.

2. Cut off the little rounded bit at the stem end if there’s a hard little piece of the stem attached. From the other end of the lemon, make a large cut by slicing lengthwise downward, stopping about 1-inch (3 cm) from the bottom, then making another downward slice, so you’ve incised the lemon with an X shape.

3. Pack coarse salt into the lemon where you made the incisions. Don’t be skimpy with the salt: use about 1 tablespoon per lemon.

4. Put the salt-filled lemons in a clean, large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add a few coriander seeds, a bay leaf, a dried chili, and a cinnamon stick if you want. (Or a combination of any of them.)

5. Press the lemons very firmly in the jar to get the juices flowing. Cover and let stand overnight.

6. The next day do the same, pressing the lemons down, encouraging them to release more juice as they start to soften. Repeat for a 2-3 days until the lemons are completely covered with liquid. If your lemons aren’t too juicy, add more freshly-squeezed lemon juice until they are submerged, as I generally have to do.

7. After one month, when the preserved lemons are soft, they’re ready to use. Store the lemons in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for at least 6 months. Rinse before using to remove excess salt.

To use: Remove lemons from the liquid and rinse. Split in half and scrape out the pulp. Slice the lemon peels into thin strips or cut into small dices. You may wish to press the pulp through a sieve to obtain the tasty juice, which can be used for flavoring as well, then discard the innards.

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