Who can resist a piece of lemon drizzle cake or lemon meringue pie? Or a glass of homemade lemonade, or maybe lemon curd on a scone, perhaps a slice of lemon in a G&T or a squirt of lemon juice on a pancake?
We have a love affair with this amazing fruit and at The Gift of Cake our lemon drizzle cake is truly a feast for lemon aficionados.
Enjoyment of lemons goes back a long way. They were first cultivated in Europe around Genoa in the middle of the 15th century. Generally the lemon tree likes a minimum temperature of 7°C so the countries around the Mediterranean were ideal. Spain is now a massive supplier to Europe. The lemon was introduced to the New World and is a major crop in Florida and California. Further south, the lemon is also big business for Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.
Lemon juice is an important culinary flavouring, but for a real hit of lemon flavour nothing beats lemon zest. What exactly is zest? It’s the outermost part of the rind (called the flavedo), the layer that contains the distinctive yellow colour. Underneath it is the white pith (albedo) that makes up the rest of the peel and is quite bitter and not very lemony. The zest layer is usually cut into strips or minced into crumbs. It’s easy to make at home by scraping an unwaxed lemon with a fine grater. The zest contains an abundance of natural aromatic oils that give it the concentrated, perfumed, lemon zing.
Our lemon drizzle cake is made with a lighter-than-light lemon flavoured sponge with a lemon buttercream filling. We then drizzle the cake with lemon sugar icing, sprinkle it with lemon zest and then douse the whole thing in lemon juice. All this is done using real lemon. We use no artificial flavours.
See quick YouTube clip of zesting here