So walking around Costco the other day I came across a ginormous crate of beautiful, delightful Meyer lemons just begging to be bought. So i bought them having no idea what to do with 5 lbs of half mandarin orange/ half lemon hybrids. I just knew I had to have them.
So I get them home and I stare at them sitting on my counter for a couple of days. And then I take them out and artfully arrange them in a bowl and continue to stare at them for another day or so. They really were a beautiful color and perfect size and impossibly shiny. And then my friend decides to come and have a sleepover with her daughter – and said friend is crazy about lemon desserts. So I start looking. Lots of Meyer Lemon marmalade. And Meyer Lemon curdy desserts. And I keep coming across Martha Stewart’s Meyer Lemon Coffee Cake in a bunch of places and decide it is a sign. And so the process of cake begins….I have to say it was a little involved and I tweaked and adjusted a bit and it still tasted great! Really nice crumb and a nice lemony flavor that wasn’t too overpowering and well….you can see from the picture that it didn’t last long in this house….
Here is the recipe adapted from Martha :
– I had a difficult time getting “paper thin slices” as MS advises – and I have a mandoline. Now maybe my mandoline skills are lacking but I could not get paper thin slices! So i ended up using my own two hands and a very good knife. My slice were not paper thin but they worked fine. Thinking next time i would do a rough chop or a quick spin in the food processor…
– Because I did not get paper thin slices I left out the second layer of lemon slices that MS has in her original recipe. After tasting the cake I almost think it would have been too lemony. Then again – I dont LOVE lemon desserts, I like them but would always opt for chocolate over lemon in a restaurant so maybe if you really LOVE lemon you should go for two layers of lemon slices.
Serves 10 to 12
- FOR THE STREUSEL
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 6 ounces ( 3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter
- FOR THE CAKE
- 3 Meyer lemons, cut into paper-thin slices, ends discarded
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest (from 4 to 5 lemons)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
- FOR THE GLAZE
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
- Make the streusel: Mix together flour, brown sugar, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter into the flour mixture until small to medium clumps form. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 3 days).
- Make the cake: Cook lemon slices in a medium saucepan of simmering water for 1 minute. Drain, and repeat. Arrange lemon slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch angel food cake pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest with a mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, add eggs, 1 at a time, then the vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream.
- Spoon 1/2 of the batter evenly into cake pan. Arrange as many of the lemon slices that will fit without overlapping in a single layer over the batter. Spread remaining batter evenly over the top. Sprinkle the chilled streusel evenly over the batter.
- Bake until cake is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, and let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, and remove outer ring. Let cool on rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the center tube. Slide 2 wide spatulas between the bottom of the cake and the pan, and lift cake to remove from the center tube. Let cool completely on rack.
- Make the glaze: Just before serving, stir together confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Drizzle over cooled cake, letting excess drip down the sides. Let glaze set before slicing, about 5 minutes. (Cake can be stored for up to 3 days. The lemon flavor will intensify with time.)