This is a delicious loaf that goes well with a cup of tea. There is a nice lemon flavour throughout the cake with a fantastic lemon glaze that packs a nice citrus punch. The poppy seeds add a welcome crunch ad slightly savoury edge which I find particularly welcome in the this soft sweet loaf.
Lemon and poppy seed loaf
200g caster sugar
zest of 1 large lemon
235g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
165ml milk (semi skimmed or whole)
1 tsp orange blossom water
30g poppy seeds
Juice of a large lemon
50g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 170C/150C FAN and grease and flour a 900g loaf tin.
Gently melt the butter and set aside to cool. Put the sugar, eggs and lemon zest in a bowl and whisk until thick, moussey and pale in colour. Combine the baking powder and flour and add ~1/3 to the egg mixture and beat to combine, then beat in ~1/3 of the milk. Repeat until all the flour and milk has been incorporated. Finally beat in the orange blossom water and poppy seeds.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 65-75 minutes until golden brown in colour and springy when lightly pressed with a finger.
While the cake is baking make the glaze. Put the lemon juice, sugar and 100ml of water into a saucepan and gently bring to the boil. Increase the heat and continue to boil until it is well reduced and thick and syrupy.
When the cake comes out of the oven brush with the glaze straight away. Add another layer of glaze 10-15 minutes later and transfer the cake to a wire rack. As it is cooling keep adding more glaze until you have used it all up.
This simple cake will keep well in a tin for up to 5 days and keeps its flavour and texture very well.