rustic lemon cake

serves 10 to 12

I should preface this recipe by reiterating that I’ve only made this with flour available to me in France. That said, this is one case where using a kitchen scale most defintely helps. I suspect the consistency of the cake should be spot on when using U.S. available ingredients, and perhaps try using a butter like Kerrygold or Plugra to replicate the flavor too since French butter is much richer than it’s American counterpart.

2 cups (290 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated natural cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) fine sea salt

1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder

1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda

1 vanilla bean, split & seeds removed

Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon

4 ounces (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 16 pieces

1 large egg (50 grams)

1 cup (250 ml) milk

Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Butter and flour a 3-inch by 9-inch loaf pan; set aside.

Add the flours, sugar, sal, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla bean seeds and lemon zest to a deep bowl. Use a fork to stir together until well mixed. Scatter the butter pieces on top, and rub together with your fingers until it forms a sandy mixture with some larger pebble-sized pieces; set aside.

In a small bowl, lightly beat together the egg, milk and lemon juice. Pour over the flour-butter mixture, and use a wooden spoon to stir until just combined and there are no visible traces of flour.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a metal skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.