Meyer lemons are always a favorite of mine when it comes to baked goods. The citrus – which is in season all year round – is less acidic than other lemons, meaning that it has a wonderful lemon flavor yet seems to be a touch sweeter than most lemons. This Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Loaf is a delicious way to put meyer lemons to good use. It is a moist and easy to make quick bread that is bursting with lemon flavor in every bite, accented by the subtle crunch of poppyseeds.
The bread is easy to put together and features both lemon zest and lemon juice. Most of the lemon flavor comes from the citrus zest, which is the colorful exterior of a citrus fruit. The zest is loaded with lemon oil, a potent flavoring agent. You’ll want to use a microplane to quickly and efficiently remove the zest from the fruit. Once you have zested the lemon, combine it with sugar – which will rub even more oil out of it as you mix the two together – and the rest of the ingredients in the batter. There is a small amount of lemon juice in the batter, as well as some in the glaze.
The lemon glaze that is used in this recipe is very easy to make and a little bit different than most of the other glazes that I make. It is made with lemon juice and granulated sugar, and it is spooned directly onto the hot loaf when it comes out of the oven. The lemon juice will kind of soak into the loaf, while the lemon-flavored sugar sits on top. As the loaf cools, the juice will be absorbed – making the loaf moist – while the sugar forms a subtle crust on top. It has a really bright flavor and a hint of crunch, which makes it particularly delicious!
You can use regular lemons for this recipe for a more traditional lemon poppyseed loaf. It will be just as delicious, with a slightly different (and still very lemony!) flavor profile from the meyer lemon version. The loaf is ready to eat as soon as it has cooled and you should allow it to cool completely before slicing it to allow the lemon glaze to set.
Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Loaf
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp meyer lemon zest
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup meyer lemon juice
1 tbsp poppyseeds
2 tbsp meyer lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan and the base of the loaf pan with parchment paper to minimize sticking.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, lemon zest, egg and vanilla extract. Stir in vegetable oil and whisk until completely incorporated. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk and lemon juice. Stir in the remaining flour mixture and the poppyseeds and mix until batter is uniform. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf pan comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached and the top springs back when lightly pressed.
While the loaf is baking, prepare the drizzle by combining lemon juice and granulated sugar in a small bowl. When the loaf comes out of the oven. us a spoon to drizzle the sugar mixture evenly over the top of the loaf. Do not pierce loaf, simply allow the mixture to soak in as the loaf cools.
When cooled, remove loaf from pan and slice to serve.
Makes 1 loaf; serves 8-12.