1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. (1 stick) softened unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped (See note below on How To Toast Pecans)
For the Lemon Syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC) if making a regular size loaf, or 325º F (160ºC) if making 2 mini loaves. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan, or 2 (5 1/2 x 3-inch) loaf pans.
In a medium bowl, stir and toss together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture along with the milk and lemon zest. Beat until blended and smooth, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Stir in the toasted pecans.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan (s) and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf (s) comes out clean; 50 to 60 minutes for a 9 x 5-inch loaf, or 35-40 minutes for mini loaves.
Meanwhile, make the lemon syrup: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside, stirring occasionally; don't worry if the sugar does not dissolve completely.
Remove the loaf (s) from the oven and transfer the pan (s) to a wire rack. Using a fork, gently poke the top (s) in several places. Stir the syrup, then slowly drizzle it over the hot loaf (s). Cool the loaf (s) in the pan (s) for 15 minutes, then turn the loaf (s) out onto the rack to cool completely.
How To Toast Pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (150 C).
Place pecans in a single layer on a ungreased baking sheet (one that has a rim going around the edges). Place in oven and toast pecans for 6-8 minutes, watching them closely. Leaving them in too long may burn them, and you don't want a "burnt" taste. Remove from oven, and let cool. Chop pecans, and add to batter.
Makes 1 (9 x 5-inch) or 2 (5 1/2 x 3-inch) loaf (s).
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall© 2003
Date: June 4, 2002