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Lemons add punch to many dishes

  • PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE

    Lemons and poppy seeds are a classic pairing. They come together in this quick bread.

Lush, lovely, fragrant yellow lemons can be used for many things, as ingredients in both sweet and savory dishes and dressings, in beverages, or for a snappy puckish garnish. The juice, the pulp and the zest can be used in any number of ways. Is there anything this little vitamin C-packed orb can’t do? And don’t forget, when you are finished with the fruit, drop the remnants down the garbage disposal and run it to freshen up the kitchen.

Pick lemons that are bright yellow, firm and heavy for their size. Fresh lemons will last two to four weeks on the counter and one to two months in the refrigerator, making them easy keepers.

While many cultivated varieties of lemons are grown in the U.S., they are usually generically sold. In other words, a lemon is a lemon is a lemon. Unless it’s not. You may also run across Meyer lemons, which are a cross between a lemon and an orange. This variety has become trendy once again as some celebrity chefs, such as Martha Stewart, have embraced them. Meyer lemons are smaller, rounder and sweeter than regular lemons, and usually show up in stores from December through May.

Whatever type of lemon you find, there is no dearth of ways to make use of them. So grab a bag on your next shopping trip.

This bread is easy and delicious. Slather it with cream cheese or lemon curd. Don’t be tempted to skip the glaze, it makes the bread. The loaf can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Lemon Poppy Seed Quick Bread

“Better Home and Gardens Baking” (Better Homes & Gardens; October 2013)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • >> Lemon glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; set aside.

Combine egg, milk, oil, lemon peel, lemon juice and poppy seeds. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture and stir until moistened. Batter should be lumpy. Spoon into prepared pan.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make glaze: Combine ingredients in small saucepan. Heat and stir over medium-low until sugar is dissolved.

Remove bread from pan. Poke holes in top of warm loaf with a fork and slowly brush with glaze. Cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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