Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine: Lemons Lemons Everywhere

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lemons Lemons Everywhere

It's citrus time in Arizona and our lemon tree is bursting with fruit. A large amount of our lemons will go into making limoncello but the rest will be used in various recipes over the next month or so.

It's always a challenge during this time of year to come up with new and exciting ways to use lemons. Of course my husband won't let this season pass without lemon bars or a lemon tart. And there's always lemon chicken and lemon curd to be made.

But what other options do I have? I would love to hear about your favorite recipe using lemons. Please leave a comment with any ideas.

This past weekend I made a Lemon Glazed Angel Food cake. It was heavenly.

Lemon-Glazed Angel Food Cake adapted from Celebrations by Sheila Lukins

For the Cake 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 ½ cups large egg whites (from about 12 eggs.)
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoons cream of tartar
¼ cup finely grated lemon zest (from about 4 lemons.)

For the Glaze

3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 large lemons.)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted.

Position a rack in the lower half of the over, and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon water, and the vanilla in a small bowl. Set it aside.

Sift the cake flour with 6 tablespoons of the granulated sugar into a bowl. Resift the mixture two more times. Set it aside.

Place the egg whites in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice mixture and the salt and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to high, and gradually add the remaining 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until whites form stiff but not dry peaks.

Fold 1/4 of the flour mixture into the egg whites until just mixed. Add the remaining flour and the lemon zest. Fold until just mixed and smooth.

Pour batter into an ungreased angel food cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until top is golden brown and cake pulls away from pan sides.

Remove cake from oven. Immediately invert and hang pan over the neck of a bottle until cooled. Run a knife around the inner and outer sides of the pan to loosen cake.

To Make the Glaze In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice. Add the melted butter and whisk until smooth. immediately spoon over entire cake allowing it to drip down the sides.


  1. What a beautiful cake. I can almost taste it, the way the sour lemons play off the sweetness of the sugar and kind of melt in your mouth. How lucky you are to have fresh lemons! Lemonade.

  2. Oh can you share the Limoncello recipe??! Oh I LOVE it! I need to plant a tree... this recipe looks amazing!

  3. I love to cook anything with citrus, especially for the cake. Sadly, I never made angle cake. Your angle cake does look delicious.

  4. I am jealous you have so many lemons!! The cake looks amazing!!

  5. Lots of lemons in the middle of January sounds nice! Homemade lemonade would taste great! That cake looks lovely. I really like lemon baked goods. Yum!

  6. My poor lemon tree only has ONE lemon on it - but luckily the neighbor's tree is loaded! I've been making lemon bars like mad but one thing I love to do is candy the peel and then dip one end into dark chocolate. I'd also freeze juice, you know, if I had more than one lemon on my tree :)

  7. This cake reminds me of the Arizona sunshine. Unlike the weather here in the east.
    I am jealous of the lemons and citrus!
    We had a lemon tree and it only produced one lemon in 3 years. It is so sad!

  8. The cake looks great! I love lemony things...we had a wonderful meon tart at wegmans a few days ago and it was great! I hope you will post a recipe for lemoncello :)

  9. mmmm I can almost taste and smell it! I'll bet it has the most wonderful scent! Yummy!

  10. Oh how I wish I as in Arizona right now, with a big piece of this cake sitting in front of me!

  11. Lucky you to have lemon trees. You've given me a good idea to do with a lot of egg whites I've got right now. Glad I found your blog.

  12. Here are my suggestions, not that they will use up that much. Lemon infused oil. Also if you go to the Rachel Ray site, somewhere on there there is a california pasta, it uses, lemon, lime, and orange zest. I made it and it was knock your socks off, I didn't have the orange and it was still great.