lemon tea bread

this lemon tea bread is my gift to my father every year for his birthday and for father's day. lemon is one of his favorite flavors for dessert, and one of my early cooking memories is learning to make a meringue for a lemon pie that my grandmother mcmurray taught my mother to make. daddy does like his dessert, and lemon was frequently featured after a good meal at our house.
          i started making this tea bread (it's more like a pound cake) in 1987 when i got the williams-sonoma cookbook featuring the original prize winning recipe from a contest that chuck williams judged. i can understand why it was a winner: the lemon zest tastes like bright sparkles of sun light, and the wet-buttery-batter bakes into a moist, cakey crumb. the whole thing is drizzled over with a lemon juice and confectioners sugar glaze that zings around on your taste buds. i like to serve it at brunch with berries and champagne, as dessert with ice cream, and i always make an extra one for jim because he likes it with coffee for breakfast.
• 1 and 1/2 sticks of butter
• 1 cup of sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup of milk
• grated peel of 1 large lemon, yellow part only
• 1 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
• 1 tsp. baking powder
•1/2 tsp. salt
• 1-2 tbl. lemon juice
• 2-4 tbl. confectioners' sugar
1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a loaf pan.
2. in a bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
3. beat in the eggs, then milk and lemon rind.
4. sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, and quickly stir into the wet ingredients. do not over mix.
5. spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour.
6. remove from the pan as soon as it's cool enough to turn out onto a rack.
7. mix the lemon juice and conf. sugar to a smooth glaze and drizzle over the bread while it is still warm.
TIP: put some butter into a pastry bag and use the plan tip to run a thin bead of butter down the length of the bread. this will ensure that the bread cracks evenly down the center.

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