Lemony goodness

The problem is with lemons, is that a few lemons can go a long way, so when you have a glut on your hands, it is quite a challenge using them up.

Over the years I have tried a couple of different approaches to this. A glut of other fruit is generally managed with a good batch of jam-making, it lemon curd, its lemon equivalent, is made by mixing a ton of butter with a load of sugar and wafting half a lemon over the saucepan while you do.

In another year, I decided to adopt an Italian approach and make Limoncello. This, I had been reliably informed by the Internet, was how they used up all the lemons in Italy, after they had finished bottling all the tomatoes. Once again I was foiled. The recipe is basically a lemon, some sugar and a bucket load of vodka – although that did not stop me foisting it on everyone as ‘lemony goodness’ – talk about a rebranding success! Everyone felt they were doing themselves a power of good, no doubt until the following morning.

One hit that never fails to please, though, is a lemon cake, the recipe for which I found in a magazine, but which I believe comes from a book called, Gorgeous Cakes by Annie Bell. I made it last night and took it to work and it never fails to be a real crowd pleaser – even though it is dead simple to make.

Here is the recipe:

225g (8oz) unsalted butter (room temp cut into small squares)

225g (8oz) golden caster sugar

3 medium eggs

15ml (5floz milk)

225g (8oz) self-raising flour, sifted

1 1/2tsp Baking powder, sifted

Finely grated zest and juice of two lemons (I zest mine using a microplane grater)


110g golden granulated sugar (for topping with the lemon juice)

Also 30 X 20 X 4cm baking tin (I use a medium sized foil roasting Tim for BBQs) greased and lined with baking paper.


Preheat Oven to 190 degree Celsius (gas 5)

Combine sugar and butter in mixer and beat until pale and fluffy

Add eggs one at a time while beating

Add milk wile beating (at this stage the mixture will look like it is curdling – Don’t panic, it will come together with the flour)

Still beating slowly, add the flour and baking powder, then add the lemon zest.

Pour into tray and back in over for 30 mins

Allow to cool a little, but while still warm pierce at 2cm (3/4 inch) intervals

Combine the lemon juice and the granulated sugar in a jug and spoon over the cake, distributing evenly.

Allow to cool, cut into twelve squares – and then beat off the crowds as they descend for a piece!


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