I know, I know. Citrus season is quickly waning and I’m a little late to the full spectacle that is blood oranges and Meyer lemons in their hay of their day, but there’s just something about spring that makes me crave citrusy flavors! (Side note: I did consume an unacceptably large amount of blood oranges between the months of January and February. Ob-sessed.)
I recently came across Half Baked Harvest’s new recipe for a lemon butter chicken and orzo recipe and decided to make it, because duh, and added some asparagus because I can’t not, and it was wonderful. It was what I had for my not-sad-desk=lunch all week and my co-workers we so jealous. But I ended up having this huge leftover bag of Meyer lemons that I didn’t want to go bad, not to mention some mascarpone and ricotta cheese that needed a second life. I took a snippet off of my thyme bush and all was right in my world because I love love love the combo of lemon and thyme together.
This loaf cake would great with afternoon coffee or a dessert at the end of a pasta dinner. I also got to re-repurose ingredients for yet another recipe tacked on at the bottom. I really love not wasting perfectly useable, beautiful product.
Meyer Lemon and Thyme Loaf Cake
For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups AP flour
2 Tbsp Meyer lemon zest, about 2 lemons
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice, about 2 lemons
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup neutral oil
For the Icing:
1 cup full fat ricotta
2 Tbsp mascarpone, room temp
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
I garnished the whole thing with a quick candied Meyer lemons and thyme sprigs which made a beautiful syrup to soak into the cake:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp regular lemon juice (for the acidity)
1 Meyer lemon, sliced about 1/8″-1/4″ thick
5 large sprigs fresh thyme
Over medium heat melt bring the sugar, water and lemon juice to a simmer. Add the lemon slices and cook, turning occasionally, for 15 minutes. Remove and lay in a single layer to dry on wax paper. Add the thyme sprigs to the syrup and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove and line on the wax paper. Cool and store the syrup in a heatproof container.
Cake + syrup soak + ricotta + candied garnish = YUM!
Right on Thyme
1 1/2 ounces St. George Botanivore gin
1/4 ounce Meyer lemon-thyme syrup
Shake with ice, strain, and serve in a coupe glass topped off with champagne or elderflower tonic water.