Seriously Delish author Jessica Merchant didn't start out as a citrus fan. Lemons, she reasoned, were an acquired taste, to be acquired much later in life. Then, 25 years passed, and the little yellow fruits started getting interesting. Inspired by a killer lemon bar recipe by her Grandma Lois, this cake uses whole wheat pastry flour and the zest of four lemons in its base, along with hearty glugs of extra-virgin olive oil. The top is all slices of caramelized Meyer lemon, which might be my new favorite topping for pretty much anything. The whole shebang is baked up in a cast iron skillet, which gives it a bit of a crust, and a lot of rustic appeal.
Tips: There's a fair amount of olive oil used in the cake batter (3/4 cup, to be exact). So, the olive oil you select will have an impact on the resulting flavor. I advise choosing an olive oil that is light and fruity, or buttery, to best complement the lemon, and to keep the cake from tasting too heavy. Fairway market, if you're lucky enough to live near one, often has multiple bottles of olive oil set out for guests to try, complete with flavor notes that should make choosing easy. If you don't live near a Fairway, and aren't sure what kind of oil to get, Spanish olive oils are a good bet for fruitiness.
Tweaks: It doesn't explicitly say whether 2 of the 4 lemons used for zest should be caramelized, but there's no reason to waste perfectly good lemons. So, once you've gathered zest from all four, use two to slice thin and cook in sugar. But of course, no one is stopping you from using an extra two lemons. Though I'd love to hear what you'll do with all that juice.
Get the Recipe
As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Seriously Delish to give away.
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.