|©2011, Monika Roe|
Rain. Clouds. Grey. Dreary.
That was this weekend in a nutshell. However, the rain couldn't stop the sunshine in my kitchen created by a bag of Meyer lemons from a generous friend's tree! Hmmm... how to use them?
Looking online, I was disappointed by the number recipes that claimed to be lemony but didn't really require much of the fruit at all. The Best Damn Lemon Cake from Saveur only called for the zest and juice of 2 lemons and used lemon extract to boot. Pass. I was looking for a recipe that would pack at least 5 or 6 lemons into it.
Then I came across the Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake recipe that appeared in last month's Martha Stewart Living Magazine. It calls for 5 whole lemons sliced paper-thin and 3 tablespoons of lemon zest and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. BINGO!
I have a love hate relationship with Martha Stewart's recipes. More often than not I find them incredibly labor intensive and sometimes the blood, sweat and tears poured into her recipes yields an outcome that is only "meh". But when her recipes hit, they knock it out of the park! I still use one of her macaroni and cheese recipes I found 10 years ago when I really want to wow people.
So I made this cake. The only problem I ran into was making the streusel topping. Ugh. I have a streusel phobia. For some reason my streusel attempts always fail! It's one of those things that I haven't even come close to mastering, like cooking rice. I can't cook rice either. One of these days I'm going to get serious about streusel and confront it head on. For now, I just puzzle over how the folks at MSL expect the streusel part of this recipe to work. It's a mystery, people.
It took a long time to make this cake. More time than usual because I was playing around with taking photos of the process. My man is a photographer and I have been dying for him to teach me how to take decent food photos. See some of my beginning photos below!
As soon as this cake was tucked into the oven it filled the house with a beautiful lemony warmness as it baked. Everything is right in the world when something is baking in the oven! The glaze made from confectioner's sugar and fresh lemon juice was simple but absolutely delicious and added the sweetness that I think this cake lacks. I would like it to be a touch sweeter, but maybe if I had made a successful streusel that would have solved the problem!
Will I make this recipe again? Probably not, I wasn't wowed by it, but it did use up almost all of my lemons and judging by how much cake is left on the cake plate (a couple of slices after friends and family claimed their shares) I still consider it a success and the perfect antidote for a rainy weekend!
This recipe uses the Blogger Secret Ingredient of lemons, hosted this week by Girlichef!