Spring is slowly creeping in… much more slowly than any of us would like. I was at a gardening seminar this week and was told that spring will be at least 3-4 weeks behind this year. This was very depressing news to say the least, as we are all chomping at the bit, coaxing and cajoling the flowers and plants into springtime action, after months of snow on the ground. Well, we will just all have to be very, very patient because even though the days are noticeably longer, the weather is still winter; cold, dreary, dark and rainy. What to do? Bake a lemon cake of course! But not just any lemon cake – a Meyer lemon cake! We all know that citrus has the ability to lift our spirits and bring us out of our blues, but in my opinion, Meyer lemons have a very special power – almost transcendent. Just to grate the peel from these orangey-yellow orbs, brings warmth and sunshine into the room. One burst of juice offers the optimism of a spring day.
I found a huge bag of Meyer lemons at Costco a few days ago and was so excited to bring them home, dreaming the whole way about all of the cheery dishes that I could create. I had seen this recipe in the Jan./Feb. 2017 issue of Bake From Scratch, and was excited to try making it. It was just what I needed – an injection of spring! The cake was moist and not too sweet with the gorgeous, bright flavours of Meyer lemons. I used the lemons to make a luxurious lemon curd (recipe here) which is layered into the cake. But then it was so good, that we ate it on top of the cake as well!
Meyer Lemon - Olive Oil Coffee Cake
¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
1½ teaspoons Meyer lemon zest
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh Meyer lemon juice
1¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sour cream
¼ cup (or more) prepared lemon curd (commercial or homemade)
Confectioner’s sugar for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour an 8-inch round deep cake pan.
For the streusel: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, lemon zest and juice and salt. Drizzle with melted butter and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Crumble with your fingers.
For the cake: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar and oil at medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow, 5-6 minutes. Stir in the melted butter and lemon zest and juice until combined.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in the sour cream. Pour ¾ of the batter into the prepared pan. Spread with the lemon curd and top with the remaining batter. Smooth with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with the streusel.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Garnish with confectioner’s sugar if desired. Slice and top with a dollop of the lemon curd. You will believe that spring is just around the corner!