Thursday, November 15, 2007

Glazed Lemon-Cranberry Loaf Cake

I was flipping through the pastry queen book last night looking at possible cakes for Chris' birthday (the front runner right now is an Almond Bliss German Chocolate Cake) when I saw this recipe. I'm not sure how I missed it the first dozen times I flipped through this book, but somehow I did. I love Orange-Cranberry bread and I'm always looking for variations on the recipe. This was intriguing because while I've seen dozens of recipes for Orange-Cranberry bread, this was the first time I've seen a recipe for Lemon-Cranberry Bread.

It also helped that I had a couple of lemons to use up and some cranberries that had been in the fridge far too long. However, I discovered pretty quickly that one of my lemons was beyond use, and the other one didn't provide enough zest. Therefore I ended up zesting an orange and a half to make up the difference so I guess this is more of a citrus-cranberry bread than anything else. From what I tasted tonight, and what I could see when I cut the end off of the bread, I want more cranberries. The other cranberry-orange bread I make is flecked with cranberries because you chop them up in the food processor. This recipe only called for a cup of them, and I thought it was a bit skimpy when I folded them in. Chris thinks we might find a treasure trove of them clumped up in the center, but I have my doubts.

Other than that the flavor is nice. The lemon glaze reminds me of the lemon poppy seed bread I make, but I'm not sure how much different the flavors would be if I had used only lemon zest. The flavors should improve overnight since they usually do with this type of bread. And of course, I'll get JB's opinion since he's a fan of the first cranberry-orange bread. :)

1 cup fresh cranberries
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon for dredging cranberries
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Lemon Glaze:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with butter, sprinkle lightly with flour and tap out excess (or spray with cooking spray.)

Toss the cranberries with the 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed for 1 minutes, until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Add half the remaining flour, the baking powder and the salt, mix on low speed just until combined. Add half the milk and mix on low speed just until combined. Add the remaining flour, mix just until combined, then the remaining milk. fold in the lemon zest and the cranberries.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake about 1 hour (check after 45 minutes) or until a tester stuck into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the loaf for about 15 minutes, then remove it from the pan.

To make the lemon glaze: Combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan and set over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil and cook about 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.

Gently pierce the top of the loaf cake many times with a toothpick. Use a pastry brush to apply the warm glaze evenly over the top of the loaf.


Anonymous said...

i liked the orange-cranberry one better, but as we talked about, a hybrid of the two with some chopped crans and some whole crans, and adding the glaze to the top. i think i prefer orange w/ cranberries over the lemon, though. now, if you made this bread with whole blueberries w/ the lemon, then that would be nice :) -jb

biscuitpusher said...

duly noted. :) maybe after Thanksgiving I'll track down some blueberries. Although Lou requested blueberry pie, so that might take precedence. How do canned blueberries work in blueberry pie? I nearly bought some and couldn't bring myself to do it...