My childhood neighbour, Mrs Beckman, shared this recipe with my mum many years ago. The recipe was from Mrs Beckman’s sister-in-law, Meryl. Meryl was a missionary in some remote place and would occasionally come and stay next door. This recipe has been made countless times by Mrs Beckman, my mum, my sisters and me. And it has always been known to us all as ‘Meryl’s Fresh Lemon Loaf’.
If you have a mixmaster to hand it takes no time whatsoever to whip up. It is best eaten warm with a dollop of cream. The ideal morning or afternoon tea.
I have used this lemon loaf as a base for a deconstructed plate trifle from Nigella Lawson’s ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess’. A very impressive dessert that involves very little skill to create.
meryl’s fresh lemon loaf
4 ounces unsalted butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 caster sugar, extra
zest and juice of a lemon
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a loaf tin.
Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Add eggs, beat well after each addition. Add the flour and milk alternately and mix together.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked and golden brown.
Place lemon zest, juice and sugar in a saucepan and stir over gentle heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour over warm cake that is still in the tin.
Serve as is or with a dollop of cream and handful of berries.
My mum just sent me the following notes which are good.
I don’t warm the lemon juice and sugar…I just
mix together and pour over the warm cake….leaves a nice crunchy lemony
sugar coating on top and the warm cake soaks up the juices. Lime can be used instead
of lemon for a taste blast!
lemon raspberry plate trifle
2 tablespoons flaked almonds
8 tablespoons dry sherry
4 tablespoons caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon rosewater (optional)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
300ml double cream
1 lemon syrup cake with double syrup
2 punnets raspberries
Put the flaked almonds into a dry frying pan and put over a medium heat to toast. When they are golden remove to a plate and set aside.
Mix the sherry, sugar, rosewater and lemon zest and juice in a bowl large enough to take the cream being whipped. Stir to dissolve sugar and leave to sit if need be to help sugar dissolve. Slowly, while whisking by hand, add the double cream. Then switch to an electric mixer and beat till airy and floppily bulky.
Slice half the cake onto a large platter. Empty the punnets of raspberry on top. Flop over the syllabub and scatter with the toasted almonds.