Lemon Cake

Lemon Cake
Jacques Gavard

Ingredients

For the custard

  • egg yolks
  • 1/2 Cup  scant sugar
  • 2 Cups  milk
  •   Grated zest of 1 orange, preferably organic
  •   Grated zest of 1/4 Kaffir lime

For the lemon cake

  • 1 1/2 Cup  all-purpose flour, plus more for the loaf pan
  •  Pinch of  baking powder
  • egg yolks
  • 1 Cup  superfine sugar (also known as caster sugar)
  •   Grated zest of 1 lemon, preferably organic
  • 1/2 Cup  scant crème fraîche
  • 1/2 Cup  candied lemon, chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons  unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more at room temperature for the loaf pan

For the syrup

  • 1/2 Cup  water
  • 1/2 Cup  sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons  lemon juice

Don't let the simple title deceive you. This lemon cake is something truly special. Served with a custard with Kaffir orange and lime and a simple sugar syrup that's poured on top right out of the oven, this simple yet elegant dessert will have your guests coming back for more (and of course, asking for the recipe).

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Directions

For the custard

Place a bowl into the refrigerator to chill.

Gently beat the egg yolks and the sugar together in a cooking pot. Pour the milk into a separate cooking pot and bring to a boil. Pour the milk over the egg yolk mixture and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula. Do not allow to boil or the custard will split.

Once the custard has thickened, remove from the heat and pour it into the cold bowl to stop the cooking process. Add the orange and Kaffir lime zest and stir. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the lemon cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks with the sugar, lemon zest, and crème fraîche. Add the flour and the candied lemon and mix to combine. Mix in the cooled melted butter. Butter and flour a baking pan and fill to ¾ full. Bake for 25 minutes.

For the syrup

Bring the water and sugar to a boil and then add the lemon juice. When the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and pour the syrup over. Leave to cool on a wire cooling rack. Serve with the custard.

Notes

Note: It is best to use organic fruits in this type of recipe to avoid ingesting the pesticides and wax that may be found on non-organic fruit. Organic fruit may also be more aromatic. The Kaffir lime (or combava) has a very aromatic leaf. Its aroma can be pervasive, so don't fall into the trap of overuse; err on the side of caution if you are not used to it.

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