East 62nd Street Lemon Cake
Source: Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1999 ed.), pg. 127-28. Also in Maida Heatter's Cakes (Andrews McMeel Publishing. 1997 ed.), pg. 22. (2011 ed., pg. 20).
This is a popular recipe created by Maida Heatter's daughter. It was printed in the New York Times to much acclaim. I made it this weekend for Michael's cousin who was visiting this weekend from Mississippi. Both she and Michael love lemon and they both approved this recipe. If you like lemon, you'll love this!
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup milk
Finely grated rind of 2 large lemons
Preheat oven to 350. Use either a 9 x 4 1/2 inch tube pan or a Bundt pan. (I used the Bundt). Butter the pan and dust it with fine bread crumbs and set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Beat the butter in an electric mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until mixed. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl occasionally with a rubber spatula.
Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk (beginning and ending with the flour mixture). Remove the mixer bowl from the stand and stir in the lemon zest.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Rotate the bowl back and forth a few times to level the top.
Bake for 1 hour and 5 to 10 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake stand in the pan for 5-10 minutes before inverting the pan to remove the cake. Place over foil or wax paper and prepare the glaze.
1/3 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
Whisk together the lemon juice and sugar and brush it over the cake while the cake is still warm.
Let the cake cool completely before transferring to a cake plate. It is best to wait a few hours before cutting the cake.
(Maida notes that key lime juice works in the glaze as well but if doing so, still use the lemon rind for the cake.)
My Notes: The cake was done in 50 minutes (as I've mentioned earlier, my oven always get things done faster than the recipe calls for). You might think the glaze is excessive (I did) but the cake absorbs it quickly. It turned out excellent. The recipe says that it serves 10 portions but they would have to be extremely large portions. I would say that you can get 15-20 slices easily.