In the fall and winter, I'll happily dive face-first into a pumpkin or gingerbread loaf. But in the spring, I want something that tastes a little brighter such as this Lemon Berry Loaf.
Though, come to think of it, I did make this loaf for Christmas breakfast and the food police didn't arrest me. So, hey, save the recipe and enjoy it all through the year.
The loaf has a nice lemon flavor without being overpowering. Added sweetness comes from your choice of glazes, and berries add pops of freshness.
This loaf is great for breakfast, brunch or even dessert along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I have used blueberries and raspberries with this recipe, and both work well. Other berries or a mix of berries might also work, but I can't vouch for them. If you experiment with other berries, let me know how it turns out! My contact information is at the end of the column.
Lemon Berry Loaf
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons lemon juice (zest before juicing)
2 large eggs
11/2 cups plus 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour, separated
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
Zest of 1 lemon, (about 11/2 to 2 tablespoons)
1 cup berries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x4 loaf pan and line it with parchment paper, if desired, to help lift the loaf out after baking. I leave about four inches of overhang on each long side of the pan.
Beat butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, then beat in eggs and lemon juice. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Mix dry ingredients into butter mixture, alternating with the milk.
Clean berries and dust with 1/2 tablespoon flour, which will help keep all of them from sinking to the bottom during baking. Fold in zest and berries.
Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let rest 10 minutes in pan before removing the loaf and finishing cooling on a wire rack.
Choose a glaze option below.
Sweet Lemon Soak: Combine 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/4 cup white sugar. Before removing the loaf from the pan, pour the mixture over the loaf. Some will soak into the bread, giving it a more intense lemon flavor.
Lemon Glaze: After the loaf has cooled so it is just slightly warm to the touch, combine 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to create a thick glaze. (If it is too thick, add more juice or water. If too thin, add more powdered sugar.) Pour over loaf and let it finish cooling.
Vanilla Glaze: After the loaf has cooled so it is just slightly warm to the touch, combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Pour over loaf and let it finish cooling.
– Adapted from Mama's Cafe on AllRecipes.com
Recipe Swap is published the second Wednesday of each month. Corey McMaken is a home cook, not a food expert. To share your favorite recipe for possible inclusion, email email@example.com or write to Corey McMaken, c/o The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St. Fort Wayne, IN 46802; include recipe, cooking tips, full name, city of residence and a phone number so we can contact you.
With last month's column about my Mozzarella and Bacon Sandwich, I shared the method I use to bake bacon. Reader Susan Eastes wrote to share her process, which is slightly different.
Eastes places her bacon on a baking sheet and places a cooling rack upside down on top of the strips in a 350 degree oven.
It keeps the bacon from shrinking and it is done in about 15 to 20 minutes, she says.
I tested Eastes' method, and it worked for me – though your baking time might vary so the bacon reaches your desired level of crispness.
Also in last month's column, I asked readers to share unexpected flavor combinations that hit the spot for their families.
Mitzi Adams' family eats a fried egg sandwich with a slice of colby cheese, a slice of sweet onion and a “schmear” of creamy peanut butter.
“I prefer a crispy, toasted English Muffin, while Mom prefers toasted white bread,” Adams says.