While scouting around for a light "Spring" dessert to serve at a dinner party we had on Saturday, I came across a couple versions of lemon pound cakes that caught my eye. Unfortunately there was something about each that gave me pause, but with a little recipe re-engineering I was able to come up with this hybrid of the two that we all loved.
The first recipe I found was in Fine Cooking and was for a polenta pound cake with lemon, thyme and a blueberry compote. I loved the idea of the thyme in this cake and the compote sounded awesome, but the polenta cake recipe sounded a bit dry to me, and there wasn't nearly enough lemon in it for my taste. The second I found was an Ina Garten recipe that didn't have any thyme, but had enough lemon zest to make it interesting and used oil and yogurt along with a lemon syrup to make it plenty rich and moist. Oddly, in addition to the imbibing syrup her recipe also called for a final sugary glaze, which for me would have pushed it into the realm of sickly sweet, so we decided to nix it.
In the end we ended up with a polenta-less lemon-thyme cake made moist and rich with a tangy greek yogurt, and fortified with an imbibing syrup made with 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice. To this we added a thyme infused blueberry compote, and served it all up with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.
Cheers – Steve
for the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 extra large eggs
- grated zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup canola oil
for the imbibing syrup:
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
for the blueberry compote:
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- pinch of kosher salt
for the compote:
- In a saucepan heat the sugar, thyme and 2 tablespoons of water and bring to a boil. Add the blueberries, lemon zest and salt and bring back to the boil. Cook, stirring frequently until the syrup starts to thicken 5-7 minutes. remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Heat the oven to 350℉. Butter an 8.5 x 2.5 x 4.25 inch loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment, then butter and flour the pan.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, thyme, and salt in a medium sized bowl. In another bowl whisk together the yogurt, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla, and 1 cup of sugar. Gently whisk the dry ingredients into the wet until just mixed, then add the oil and gently whisk to incorporate.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a tester placed into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- While the cake is baking, combine the lemon juice and sugar for the imbibing syrup into a small pan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- Remove the baked cake from the oven and place it on a wire cooling rack. let cool 10 minutes, and then with the cake still in the pan, slowly drizzle the imbibing syrup over the cake. You will likely need to do this in a few steps, waiting for each pour to soak into the cake before preceding with another. Use all the imbibing syrup.
- Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan.
- Serve slices of cake with a spoonful of blueberry compote and a dollop of whipped cream.