A long time ago, I told you about this go-to recipe for quick bread that my grandmother gave to me. I’ve made it with blueberries, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries – pretty much everything – and it has never let me down.
Citrus is in season right about now, and my local farm stand/store had an obscene sale on lemons and limes this week – I’m talking whole bags with five or six pieces of fruit in them for a dollar. I couldn’t resist, so I bought a bag of each.
Now, lemons? I know what to do with lemons. I’ve got a couple of killer recipes for chicken, pasta, and rice that make nice use of lemons, not to mention that I’m trying to get into the habit of having a cup of hot water with lemon and a bit of honey every morning, so I’m good with the lemons. Limes, though? I’ve never really interacted much with limes, but I had a whole bag of ’em, so I got to thinking.
Every Sunday night since I started teaching at this new school, I’ve baked something to leave in the teacher’s room for my colleagues. Last week, I decided to try to modify Grandma Charlene’s recipe for use with the limes. I had five limes and wanted to end up with enough finished product to have one loaf to bring to work and one to leave at home (my family gets cranky when I make sweeties that they can’t share), so I tinkered a bit with the recipe. I was so delighted with the end result that my coworkers are getting lime bread again tomorrow, too. Here’s how you do it:
In to bowl of your KitchenAid (really, use a stand mixer for this; it makes putting the recipe together SO much easier than trying to use a hand mixer… or mixing it by hand… yikes!), drop in a stick and a little less than a half of softened butter (about 2/3 of a cup, I guess; I don’t know because I eyeballed that part) and 2 cups of white sugar. While these are busy creaming together, grate the zest off of two limes and squeeze as much juice out of them as you can (it probably won’t be much; while I always associated lemons and limes, they’re really very differently textured). Once the butter and sugar are nice and fluffy, scrape in the lime zest and pour in about 2 tablespoons of the juice (save the rest for the glaze). Leave that to keep spinning on low while you sift together 3 cups of flour, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, and a teaspoon of salt, then pour yourself a cup of milk in a separate container. Crack four eggs, one at a time, into the still-stirring mixer. Once everything is all nice and smooth, spoon in half the flour mixture, then pour in half the milk, then do that over again until it’s all nicely mixed (at this point, you may want to stop the mixer and give the sides of the bowl a scrape; I always end up with a thin layer of butter around the edges of my bowl).
Grease two standard loaf pans, pour half the mixture into each, and park them in the middle of a 350° oven for about an hour (or as long as it takes a for a positive toothpick test). Let them cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and turn them out onto a rack to finish cooling. Slice the loaves before you glaze them… trust me on this…
To make the glaze, pour the remaining lime juice into about a cup of confectioner’s sugar and stir it about until it’s nice and smooth (you may need to add more sugar or a bit of water, depending on the consistency you want). You can eat this warm from the oven, but I find that, unlike this recipe done with summer fruits, I prefer this version cold. Either way, though, it’s a winner recipe.