image created by Stephen Wilson
Are you a fan or simply watching the hit television show, Empire? Have you even heard of the show? No? That's ok. This recipe has nothing to do with that show - save for the word 'luscious'. What a great word. Luscious. It has totally disappeared from the world - until now, thanks to a character on Empire named Luscious Lyon. And like anything that's resuscitated, it can either be celebrated, or a cause for tears. Well, this dessert is a reason to celebrate!
My mother is the creator of this fabulous loaf. It's soft, moist and bursting with lemon flavour. Although I have baked it myself about a million times, I still can't get it to taste as good as hers. Why? I can almost her hear say "You're too impatient Stephen." So lesson learned from the master Mom is this: with this recipe, patience is your friend. Take your time and you'll be very happy with the results.
Serve it cold or warmed up. Save it for dessert, and even take up it a notch by adding some ice cream. You'll have friends clamouring for the recipe. And as for you, Mister, Madame or Mademoiselle baker? Well, you'll be able to savour the sweet taste of victory again the next morning, along with a cup of coffee.
Luscious Lemon Loaf
Ingredients 1/4 cup butter (unsalted and room temperature)
1/4 cup lard
1 cup of sugar plus 1/4 cup of sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 lemon - grate rind, then cut lemon in half and extract juice into a glass. Reserve for later use.
1 1/2 cups of cake flour
1 teaspoon, baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup of whole milk
A 9-inch, non-stick loaf pan, the bottom of the pan lined with parchment paper.
1 cake rack
Preparation: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Assemble your ingredients beforehand (mise en place)so it's easier to make your cake. Using your electric mixer and paddle atatchment, cream the butter and lard on medium high speed until the colour becomes light. Slowly pour in the sugar until blended in with butter lard mixture. Add in the lemon rind, then add in the eggs - one egg at a time. Mix until all ingredients are blended in together. Turn speed down to slow, and add in flour, one spoonful at a time. Alternate every three spoonfuls of flour with some milk, until all flour and milk is throughly blended into the batter. Pour batter into pan and place in the middle of the hot oven. Bake for one hour.
Take the glass of reserved lemon juice, add in the 1/4 cup of sugar and stir together. When the loaf is out of the oven, immediately remove from the loaf pan and place on rack. Spoon or brush the sugar lemon juice over the loaf and let it cool down.
Serve with ice cream for that extra decadence, or in-season berries, or just enjoy on its own.
Recipe by Willa Wilson (with some modifications)