Friday, April 3, 2015

Luscious Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf...

Lemons evoke freshness and awakens the senses, and it's a rejuvenating flavour to invite in Spring. I love the tangy citrus syrup that seeps into this pretty poppy seed loaf creating a seductively divine taste. It's delicious served with a pot of tea and to give as a hostess gift! To me, this is one of those breads you savour slowly, letting your mind drift while enjoying life's simple pleasures...

Luscious Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf (adapted from Canadian Living)
Makes 12 servings

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind (lemon zest)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup  milk
Lemon Syrup:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, poppy seeds, lemon rind, baking powder and salt; stir into butter mixture alternately with milk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of milk. 

You can also use 1/4 tsp. lemon oil instead of 1 Tbsp. lemon rind or zest.

Spread in greased 8- x 4-inch or 9- x 5- loaf pan lined with parchment paper cut to fit for easy removal. Bake in centre of 325°F oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Place pan on rack. I like to use my toaster oven to save on energy.

Lemon Syrup: In saucepan or microwaveable measure, warm together sugar and lemon rind and juice until sugar dissolves. With skewer, pierce hot loaf in 12 places right to bottom; pour lemon syrup over loaf. Let loaf cool in pan for 30 minutes; turn out onto rack, remove parchment paper from bottom and let cool completely. Wrap and let stand for 12 hours before slicing. (Make-Ahead TIP: Store at room temperature for up to two days or overwrap with heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to two weeks.)

Make sure to plan ahead if you are gifting the loaf as it needs half a day to let the citrus syrup settle and flavour.

Addictive notes of tangy lemon with tiny poppy seed crunch packs a citrusy flavour punch!

If you love lemons, also give my Lemon Cream Scones with Currants a try.

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