Have you seen Amélie? (If not, please do.) There’s a part at the beginning where they introduce her and her parents by describing first what they hate and then what they love. As good a litmus test as any, I think. Amélie loves dipping her hands deep into bags of beans and grains. She hates it when drivers in old movies don’t watch the road while they’re driving.
Amélie’s Dad hates clingy swimsuits and likes to take everything out of his toolbox, clean it, and then put everything back in. Likewise her Mom likes to take everything out of her purse, clean it, and put everything back in. (She hates it when her fingers and toes get all wrinkly in the tub.)
I imagine if I were to be described in this manner it would go something like:
She hates it when people eat black licorice within fifty yards of her.
She likes to take everything out of her freezer, clean it, and then put everything back in.
One day awhile ago I was doing just that, the emptying-out part, anyway, and exclaimed when I got to the back, “oh! we have chocolate gelato!”
Mike, without missing even one second, replied, “if I had a gelato shop I would call it Gepetto’s Gelato. And underneath the sign it would say in brackets (formerly Pinocchio’s Panini). And when people came in to ask what happened to Pinocchio’s Panini, I’d answer ‘let’s just say that little wooden boys shouldn’t work around hot ovens.'”
So that’s Mike.
Mike loves lemon. Lemon pies, lemon bars, lemon-cranberry muffins and loaves. So I chopped up some of those sweet preserved lemons and stirred them into lemon pound cake batter, made with half the butter and a little canola oil for good measure, and they melted right in. Oh the plans I have for these.
Double Lemon Pound Cake
If you like, brush still-warm pound cakes with a glaze made with equal amounts lemon juice and sugar, simmered until the sugar dissolves, or pour a little of the syrup from your preserves jar and use it to brush overtop.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cup sugar
finely grated zest of a lemon
5 large eggs
juice of a lemon
3/4 cup milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 sweet preserved lemon wedges (about 1 lemon), finely chopped (optional – fresh or frozen berries would also be great)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil, sugar and lemon zest for 2-3 minutes, until pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Stir the lemon juice into the milk and set aside for a few minutes to thicken. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add about a third of the flour mixture, beating on low speed just until combined. Add half the milk in the same manner, then another third of the flour, the rest of the milk and the rest of the flour. Stir in the chopped lemon.
Divide the batter between two 8”x4” loaf pans that have been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden and tops are springy to the touch. Let cool for about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 2 loaf cakes.
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