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East 62nd Street Lemon Cake



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Maida Heatter's









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Lemons Harlequin
Lemons Harlequin
Julie Fillo
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La Belle Cuisine

East 62nd Street Lemon Cake

"Toni Evans, Maida Heatter's late daughter, who lived on
East 62nd Street in Manhattan, created this tart, sweet cake.
It became a favorite of the chic set after Craig Claiborne
printed the recipe in the New York Times. ‘I hear that Bill
Blass and Nancy Reagan asked for it,’ Heatter notes."

For the Cake:
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup milk
Finely grated zest of 2 large lemons

For the Glaze:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar

To make the cake, adjust an oven rack one-third up from the bottom
and reheat oven to 350 degrees F. You need a 9-by-4 1/2-inch tube pan
or Bundt pan. It should have a 12-cup capacity. Butter the pan and then
dust it all lightly with fine dry breadcrumbs. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar and
beat until incorporated. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl
as necessary with a rubber spatula. (The mixture might look curdled - it's
okay.) On lowest speed add the dry ingredients alternately in three addi-
tions, with the milk in two additions, beating only until incorporated after
each addition.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the lemon zest. Turn the
batter into the prepared pan. Level the top of the batter by rotating the
pan briskly.
Bake for 1 hour and 5 to 10 minutes, until a cake tester (a toothpick will work) comes out clean. Let the cake stand in the pan for 5 minutes and
then cover with a rack and invert. Lift pan from cake, leaving the cake upside down. Place rack over a large piece of foil or wax paper and
prepare the glaze.

To make the glaze
, mix the lemon juice with the sugar and brush all
over the hot cake. The cake will absorb it. Let cool completely and
then transfer to a cake plate. It is best to wait a few hours before
cutting the cake.

This cake can be made with 1/2 cup Key Lime juice instead of 1/3 cup lemon
juice (in the glaze) and it is wonderful. I think any kind of lime juice would be
equally wonderful. But even if you use lime juice instead of lemon juice, don't
change the grated lemon zest in the cake itself (lemon’s better there).

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