As the bounty of summer fruits dwindles down to a trickle, the focus turns back to apples, pears, and even lemons. Tom Hirschfeld’s lemon cake, from his wonderful blog, Bona Fide Farm Food Journal, has “pucker power” and is so tasty you won’t even miss those peaches and plums. As an added bonus, it’s gluten free.
Candied Lemon Sheet Cake
Serves 9 to 12
- 13 1/8-inch lemon slices, seeds gently removed
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- strips of zest from 2 lemons
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour Mix
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons candied zest, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter, each gently melted in its own bowl and kept warm, plus more for greasing the pan
- 3 tablespoons powdered dry milk
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cups whole milk, warm
- 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 ounces powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- Pour the sugar into a saute pan large enough to hold the lemons in a single layer. Place the lemons and zest in a single layer on top and then add the water. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer.
- Simmer the lemon slices until the sugar syrup has reduced by half or more and the pith and rind of the lemon appear transparent. Carefully remove the slices and zest to a piece of parchment being sure not to let the pieces overlap. Let them cool.
- Grease a quarter size sheet tray (9 x 13 inches) with butter. To make the cake heat the oven to 375 ˚ F. Combine the flour, dry milk powder, sugar, xanthan gum, baking soda, minced candied zest, and salt. Combine half the melted butter with the eggs, milk, and extracts. While whisking add the dry to the wet ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared sheet tray. Make sure the batter is evenly distributed so it rises evenly. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, make the icing. Combine the powdered sugar, cream, and remainder of the warm butter in a mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Keep the icing lukewarm.
- When the cake has finished baking remove it from the oven and let it cool right in the sheet pan for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off pour the warm icing over the top and spread it out evenly with a spatula. Lay on the slices of lemon and let the cake cool. Refrigerate or serve cold.