Looking for ways to use my lemon verbena before frost takes it for the year, I remembered a recipe given to me some years ago. It is very lemony, rich with butter, and just right for a fall tea party, or for neighbors who drop in for a cup of coffee.
Herbed Lemon Tea Bread
set oven to 325; butter and flour or parchment-line a 9x4x5 loaf pan.
sift and set aside:
2 c. all purpse flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
6 T. soft unsalted butter
1 c. sugar
2 room temperature eggs, unbeaten
1 1/2 T lemon zest
1 T minced lemon thyme or lemon verbena
1 T minced fresh lemon balm
1 c milk
Make GLAZE before starting cake:
juice of 1 lemon
about 3/4 c powdered (confectioner's) sugar
whisk sugar into juice till it makes a paste resembling the texture of raw egg yolk. Reserve.
Scald the milk with the herbs, cool to room temperature, and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter with a mixer till light and fluffy . Add sugar 1 T at a time, beating after each addition till fluffy. Beat mixture another 2-3 minutes till very light and fluffy.
Using a rubber spatula, alternately fold in the flour and the milk by 1/3's. Pour the somewhat thick batter into the loaf pan, pushing into corners and leveling it. Place on middle rack of oven and bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, till top is lightly golden, springy, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean .
Run a knife around the hot cake, and tip out onto a wire rack. Using a pastry brush, brush the cake top evenly with the glaze. It should be clear not cloudy. Cool and serve, or wrap airtight; keeps a few days. Best the same day.