For the most part, when I post recipes on here, I do savory dishes. As a little change of pace, today we’re going to do something on the sweet side. This recipe for Lemon Pound Cake was in a recent issue of EatingWell, and as such, it’s a little healthier than the standard version. That doesn’t mean it’s any less good though. Credit here to S, who did almost all the work (I sliced the lemons; note that a mandoline makes it a ton easier to cut consistently thin slices, just be careful!).
Lemon Pound Cake
1 cup whole-wheat pastry or white whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
2 Tbsp butter, softened
3 egg whites (room temp)
1 egg (room temp)
1/2 cup milk
Combine flours, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Grate about 2 tablespoons zest from 2 of the lemons; set the lemons aside. Beat 3/4 cup sugar, cream cheese, butter and the zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the egg and beat well. Reduce speed to medium and beat in milk; the mixture will look curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in 2 batches, beating just until combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer the batter to a greased and floured 9 x 5 loaf pan, then smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes. Cool on a wire rack (in the pan) for about 15 minutes, then run a knife along the edges, and flip the cake out onto the rack.
While the cake is baking or cooling, squeeze 5 tablespoons juice from the zested lemons. Trim the ends off the remaining whole lemon and very thinly slice, discarding any seeds. Heat the lemon juice and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon slices and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Use a fork to transfer the lemon slices to a bowl. Continue simmering the syrup until slightly thickened and beginning to turn golden yellow, 2 to 4 minutes.
Set the rack over a rimmed baking sheet; things are about to get messy. Poke holes all over the top of the warm cake with a wooden skewer, a couple inches deep. Spoon the glaze over the cake, poking more holes if the glaze does not sink in. Arrange the lemon slices on top. Let the cake cool completely before slicing.
The result is refreshingly lemony, with the right amount of sweetness. Perfect for a nice early spring day. Until you remember that it’s still just the first week of February, and only feels like early spring.