Thursday, December 10, 2009
New Kid in the Kitchen/COCONUT-LEMON LOAF
When I'm pondering recipes for Christmas brunch, I like to make sure that all the major "scentsations" are included. For me, that means some...
Cranberry--which usually includes orange and brown sugar (see last post); Apples--and cinnamon;
Pumpkin--and cloves, allspice and ginger;
Berries--even though they are off-season, I love the look of mixed berries on the table, and I'll frequently have a batch of frozen summer-picked blueberries around for muffins;
Chocolate (a touch of the browniful....); and,
Lemon--which leads to today's recipe.
[See how pretty that looks?]
There's something about a lemon-flavored cake or bar that is really yummy and refreshing alongside other foods. It's why we sometimes put lemon in tea or water or unflavored seltzer water, or spritz some on chicken, broccoli or fish when we're making up a hot dish. Lemon gets those taste buds awake! Cleanses the palate, too.
This is a recipe from Family Fun magazine, which has been an annual gift from my folks to us at Christmas for many years now. I rarely get the chance to just sit down with it, mostly because when it arrives at the house, CJ grabs it off the mail pile and disappears with it. Sequestering herself with an issue for days, she'll often ask me if I've seen this or read that, forgetting that she is the only one who has actually opened the magazine!
But, before it gets recycled, I read through the issue and usually find a tidbit or, in this case, recipe, to rip out and file away.
When I saw this is an issue on specialty breads, it looked like a sure winner--lemon and coconut?! Perfect for the beach trip....anytime! I made my first loaf and promptly turned it over for a Teacher Appreciation Day at school. It looked great! My Mom and sisters made it for Thanksgiving at my sister's house; I heard about it on the phone.
Then, I made it for brunch and froze it (and rewarmed it! So important....). Finally got to taste it. Mmm.... And you've got to make the "optional" glaze with it. With fresh zest and juice--oh my! As Food Network Star chef Guy Fieri would say, you could pour this on your flip-flop and it would taste out of this world! It's like spending Christmas on Christmas Island....How'd ya like to hang a stocking on a great big coconut tree?...
* 1 cup sugar
* 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
* 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
* 1-1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
* 1 teaspoon lemon extract
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup milk
* 2 large eggs
* 3/4 cup buttermilk
* 2-1/2 cups flour
* 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup (2 ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
* Coconut-Lemon Glaze (optional...[NOT!] See below)
1. Line a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with waxed or parchment paper (or grease and flour it), then set it aside. Heat the oven to 350º.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, melted butter, oil, lemon zest, lemon extract, vanilla extract, and milk.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and the buttermilk until evenly blended. Set the bowl aside. 4. In a medium-size bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. With a wooden spoon, stir about a third of the flour mixture into the sugar mixture, then alternately add half of the remaining egg mixture and half of the flour mixture, stirring after each addition just enough to blend. Stir in the coconut.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spoon. Bake on the center oven rack until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes.
6. Remove the pan from the oven and put it on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes, then remove the loaf and place it on the rack to finish cooling. When the loaf is completely cooled, in about two hours, apply the Coconut-Lemon Glaze, if using. Makes 10 servings.
* 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon melted butter
* 1/8 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
* 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1. Combine the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, butter, and lemon extract (if using) in a small bowl. Whisk to blend. The glaze should have the consistency of heavy cream. If needed, add more sugar to thicken it or more lemon juice to thin it.
2. When the bread has cooled, spoon the glaze evenly over the bread and immediately sprinkle the coconut over the top. Makes enough glaze for one large loaf.