From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This petite loaf is so packed with flavor that it will make lemon lovers weep and may convert champions of chocolate to the citrus camp. This is without a doubt the finest lemon cake I have ever tasted. Its flavor comes from zest, fresh juice and pure lemon extract, the combination of which made my socks go up and down. The recipe is the creation of Rita Wilson, who among other things is the wife of Tom Hanks, and it was featured in Family Circle magazine. Its simplicity and ease of preparation convinced me to give it a try. I'm so glad I did. I know those of you who try this recipe will love the bread. The lemon "icing" adds a faint crunch to its crust and makes the texture of the loaf less one-note than would normally be the case. I have a couple of hints that I want to share with those of you who plan to give the recipe a try. Use an 8 rather than 9-inch loaf pan. This recipe does not make enough batter to fill the larger pan. I also recommend you line the bottom of your loaf pan with greased parchment paper to make extraction of the bread easier. For the very best flavor, make the bread the day before you plan to serve it. While this makes a perfect tea bread, you'll find it also makes a wonderful family dessert. Here is how it's made.
Lemon Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite Courtesy of Rita Wilson via Family Circle magazine
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon extract
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.
2) In a large bowl, mix together butter, sugar and lemon extract. Beat in eggs with an electric mixer.
3) In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating with milk, beating just enough to blend. Fold in lemon rind and pour into prepared loaf pan.
4) Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.
5) While bread is still hot, mix together lemon juice and sugar and pour over top and into any cracks (place loaf over a sheet pan, as extra icing will drip over sides). When loaf is cool, wrap tightly in foil and store overnight before serving. Yield: 12 servings.
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