We have company coming tonight for the weekend. Deborah Ramsgard was my maid of honor in my 1982 marriage to Jim. Both our sons are named Christian. Their first names are for their fathers, John and James and their middle names are family names from Deborah's in laws, the Ramsgards and from my mother's family, the Jardines.
Deborah's father Bob started a big avocado ranch in San Luis Obispo and on that ranch they have Meyer lemons, just about my most favorite flavor in the world. A Meyer lemon is a cross between a mandarin orange and a lemon giving it its spicy, sweet, less acidic features.
In honor of Deborah and her family's arrival I will be baking my favorite glazed lemon cake today after work. Since I've already shared my favorite glazed lemon cake recipe in the Joy of Nesting archives, I'll share with you another wonderful recipe I've made for years from the Silver Palate Cookbook.
Lemon Black Walnut Bread
Delicious at tea time with lots of unsalted butter.
1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pans
1 1/2 C. sugar
4 eggs, separated
2/3 C. fresh lemon juice
2 T. grated lemon zest
3 C. cake flour
2 t. baking powder
1 C. milk
Pinch of salt
1 C. shelled black walnuts, chopped
1/4 C. water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans with 3 tablespoons of the butter.
2. In a mixing bowl cream together the remaining butter and 1 cup of the sugar. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, then stir in 1/3 cup of the lemon juice and the grated lemon zest.
3. Combine the cake flour with the baking powder. Add one third of the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Then add half of the milk, another third of the flour mixture, the remaining milk, and the remaining flour mixture. Do not over mix.
4. In another bowl beat the egg whites and pinch of salt together until stiff but not dry. Fold the beaten egg whites and black walnuts gently into the batter.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake on the center rack of the oven until cake tester inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.
6. Cool the bread slightly, remove from the pans, and cool completely on a rack.
7. Boil the remaining 1/3 cup of the lemon juice, the water, and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar together in a small saucepan for 2 minutes.
8. Drizzle the lemon syrup over the tops of the cooled loaves and let them set until completely cool before wrapping.
Photo credits: Saveur and Meyer Lemon Tree