Pat’s Lemon Cake

Pat is the manager of the NICU where I work; and she is a fantastic manager, a very gifted leader. Plus she’s very funny. Pat is from West Virginia and thoughtfully offered to translate for me by phone if I had any trouble the first time I went to Asheville, NC a few years ago.

Pat’s birthday is just around the corner. I will admit that I wanted to spend this evening working on my fiddle tunes; rumor is that a very superb Irish fiddler from Milwaukee is coming to Tucson this Sunday. But instead I made Pat a lemon cake; it was the right thing to do. Tomorrow when I actually taste it, it will REALLY be the right thing.

First I made zest, and being a bit lazy, I chopped up the peel in my very old food processor; the blade is a bit dull so I wound up with chunky-zest. I remembered into my second lemon to peel towards myself, not away, in order to avoid peel-with-pith. Pith is bitter. Yuck.

The zest is a bit….er…chunky. Maybe I should think of it as just chopped rind for marmalade.

Then, the Champion Juicer came out. This cake can only be the best. I could’ve just used bottled lemon juice. Cleaning the juicer once you’re done is such a pain in the you-know-what.

I followed this lemon curd recipe, which is fool-proof; I doubled it, and I added 1 less egg and half a cup less sugar. Just about every recipe I read is too sweet for me. Here’s the curd prior to cooking it for about 15 minutes on the stove top; the bowl on the upper left is frothy lemon juice from the juicer:

The lemon cake recipe I followed seemed simple; but I used less sugar, and I decided to use a Bundt pan instead, and I put lemon curd in the middle. Just to be creative. Here I’ve almost covered the lemon curd layer w/the last of the batter.

And here’s the finished cake, just out of my 1978 GE wall oven:

And here it is, cooled w/a layer of glaze and some lemon icing; I’ll take a photo of it once it’s sliced tomorrow. I hope it turned out OK and isn’t too dry inside.

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