I'm very fond of citrus, and lemons are constantly jockeying for position with limes as to who reigns supreme. I was rattling around the kitchen, wanting to make something different for lunchboxes, when I noticed that there were a couple of lemons begging to be used. I put aside all notions of buttermilk coffeecakes and chocolate snack cakes, and even shrugged off the faint thought of gingerbread in favour of something that I actually have not made in a very long time.
I don't know what I was thinking. It's a fabulous treat, and it is quite low fat and easy to make. It's only a small loaf, so it will disappear in no time flat, but if you're wanting to prolong it's shelf life, it freezes beautifully, too. Cut into slices and wrap well with plastic wrap, and tuck into the freezer. If you do this enough times with enough different little bits of baking, you'll have quite a selection to choose from when it's time to throw lunch in a sac and run to work. Completely defrosted and fresh as a daisy (more or less, your opinion of daisies may vary) by coffee break.
Adapted from Anne Lindsay's "Lighthearted Everyday Cooking"
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup soft margarine
2 tablespoons low-fat vanilla or lemon yogurt
1/2 cup milk(1%)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
zest of a lemon
1 teaspoon real lemon extract
pinch of salt
juice of a lemon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Spritz a small (8x4") loaf pan well with canola oil and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, cream the margarine and sugar together. Add the egg and yogurt, and beat well until very pale and light-textured. Beat in the lemon zest. Add the milk and blend until thoroughly incorporated.
Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Beat carefully into the wet mixture until just barely blended - you don't want to overmix it and get tunnels. Scrape the batter into your prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake stand in the pan for 3 minutes, while you make up the glaze.
Mix together the lemon juice and sugar very thoroughly. After the three minutes of the cake "resting" are up, pour the glaze evenly over the entire cake. In a few minutes, the cake will soak up all of the sweetened lemon juice. Let stand another ten minutes, and remove cake from pan. Allow the cake to cool completely, uncovered. Once cool, store in a cake-safe and use as needed.
This actually makes a lovely dessert, if treated like a pound cake - berries and freshly whipped cream, or a little ice cream - even a raspberry sorbet would be lovely.