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Lemon Pound Cake
3 h 30 m
“This wonderful rich, sweet lemon pound cake is downright zingy and the candied lemon slices are a beautiful bittersweet topping that's better than frosting. The best part, though: when you taste it you won't miss all the butter we cut out compared with a traditional pound cake recipe.”
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or white whole-wheat flour (see Tips)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 large lemons, divided
1¼ cups sugar, divided
3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3 large egg whites, at room temperature (see Tips)
1 large egg, at room temperature
½ cup reduced-fat milk
1Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-5-inch (or similar-size) loaf pan with cooking spray; dust with flour and tap out any excess.
2Sift whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt together into a medium bowl.
3Finely grate 2 tablespoons zest from 2 of the lemons (see Tips); set the lemons aside. Beat ¾ cup sugar, cream cheese, butter and the zest in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the egg and beat well. Reduce speed to medium and beat in milk; the mixture will look curdled.
4Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture in 2 batches, beating just until combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
5Bake the cake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the sides and turn the cake out onto the rack.
6While the cake is cooling, squeeze 5 tablespoons juice from the zested lemons. Trim the ends off the remaining whole lemon and very thinly slice; discard any seeds. Heat the lemon juice and remaining ½ cup sugar in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon slices and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Use a fork to transfer the lemon slices to a bowl. Continue simmering the syrup until slightly thickened and beginning to turn golden yellow, 2 to 4 minutes.
7Set the rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Poke holes all over the top of the warm cake with a wooden skewer, 1½ to 2 inches deep. Spoon the glaze over the cake, poking more holes if the glaze does not sink in. Arrange the lemon slices on top. Let the cake cool completely before slicing.
Make Ahead Tip: Using toothpicks to hold the plastic wrap away from the glaze, loosely wrap the cake and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.
Equipment: Loaf pan
Tips: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Find it at large supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
White whole-wheat flour, made from a special variety of white wheat, is light in color and flavor but has the same nutritional properties as regular whole-wheat flour. It is available at large supermarkets and natural-foods stores and online at bobsredmill.com or kingarthurflour.com. Store it in the freezer.
To bring an egg to room temperature, either set it out on the counter for 15 minutes or submerge it (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for 5 minutes.
When we call for citrus zest (i.e., ½ teaspoon lemon zest) we are referring to the finely grated outer rind (not including the white pith) of the citrus fruit. Use a microplane grater or the smallest holes of a box grater to grate the zest. In some cases we call for long strips or threads of zest. To get long strips, peel the citrus with a vegetable peeler. To remove long threads, use a 5-hole citrus zester or remove long strips of zest with a vegetable peeler, then use a knife to cut into very thin strips.
Decorate on parchment: When adding finishing touches to your cookies or cakes, place them on a large sheet of parchment paper before you decorate. The paper catches the excess, making cleanup a breeze.