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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

East 62nd Street Lemon Cake (American)

This is a historically-famous pound cake that takes its name from the address of the establishment where it was created.
According to Saveur, "Toni Evins, Maida Heatter's late daughter, who lived on East 62nd Street in Manhattan, created this tart, sweet cake. It became a favorite of the chic set after Craig Claiborne printed the recipe in the New York Times. "I hear that Bill Blass and Nancy Reagan asked for it," Heatter notes."
It tastes very buttery-lemony, not overly sweet and has a lovely puffy consistency. The tart sugar glaze practically screams lemon. It's nice for enjoying next to tea or coffee in the morning and lasts for almost a week of breakfasts (for two people at least).

Last year: Ciorbă de gulii (Romanian kohlrabi soup) (vegan).
Two years ago:  Smoked salmon carpaccio with sun-dried tomatoes (raw) (Swedish "Najad Lax").
Three years ago: Baby making and no cooking. :)

Ingredients (for a large bundt pan):
  • 375 g flour (3 cups)
  • 1 satchel baking powder (or 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 225 g butter (8 oz), at room temperature (plus a bit extra for greasing the pan)
  • 450 g sugar (2 cups)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 250 ml milk (1 cup)
  • finely grated zest of 2 large lemons
  • 1-2 tablespoons of dried breadcrumbs
For the glaze:
  • 80 ml fresh lemon juice (1/3 cup)
  • 150 g sugar (2/3 cup)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Break the butter into pieces and put them in a food processor or mixing bowl.

Beat it until soft. Add the sugar and beat again until well incorporated:

Beat in the eggs, one at a time. It's ok if the mixture looks curdled (slightly separated). Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients in three additions, interrupted by the milk in two additions, mixing after each new addition. Add the lemon zest at the end:

Mix again. The batter is done. Butter the walls of the pan and dust them with the breadcrumbs:

Pour the cake batter in the pan. Scrape the walls of the bowl with a spatula or with your hand so you can transfer every bit to the pan.

Put it in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour and 5-10 minutes until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cake is a rich brown color.
Invert it on a cake stand and allow it to cool a bit:

Poke dents all over the cake, vertically, with a wooden skewer. Mix the ingredients for the glaze and spread it all over the cake:

It's done. Slice and dig in! :)

Note: Keeps well for 4-5 days at room temperature, but covered or closed in a box. You can serve each slice next to a round of vanilla ice-cream or with a topping of whipped cream if you find it too plain.

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