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Lemon Drop Cake

Green grass is starting to poke through the brown turf from the previous fall and our mornings are greeted with the sounds of the newly returning birds. Yes spring has finally sprung here in Minnesota. Just as quickly as the seasons change the flourish of get togethers and pot lucks invitations start pouring in. Cake is good any time of year but I love to bring out the lemon drop cake at this time of year. If you like you can use a boxed yellow cake mix. I am a fan of making mine from scratch. I promise it is nearly as scary as it might sound. If you like the texture of a boxed cake mix I would advise to use cake flour rather than all purpose flour. If you don’t mind a slightly more rugged texture all purpose works just fine. As with most baking, you will add the dry to the wet ingredients in small batches. In one bowl combine 2 ¼ cup flour and 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt. In another bowl cream together ¾ cup butter (I like to use the unsalted butter here if you are using salted butter omit the salt from the dry ingredients ) and 1 ¾ cups sugar once creamed add 3 eggs one at a time along with 1 ½ teaspoons lemon extract and 1 ¼ cups milk. I will usually add the dry ingredients a third at a time. Make sure that all the ingredients are well incorporated but there is no need to over mix. Pour batter into a greased pan, for the lemon drop cake I like to use two 9 in rounds. Bake at 350 until your tooth pick comes out clean from a poke in the center. Now here comes the tasty part, the lemon curd. This stuff thickens as it cools so wait to make this until the cakes are cooled and cut into halves the long way. I double this recipe. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan whisk 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 2 teaspoons corn starch, add in 8 egg yolks and 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup lemon juice. Cook this over a low-medium heat until it just starts to bubble. Stir this often so it doesn’t down on the bottom. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat stir in 2 tablespoons of butter softened and cut into pieces. Ladle the lemon curd on top of each layer one after the other. Don’t worry if it drips a little. On the final layer simply add the remaining amount of lemon curd and let it drop down the sides for a more finished look. Let it cool and serve on the patio with a glass of strawberry lemonade.


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