A title like that practically challenges you to bake the darn thing, doesn’t it?
After all, you either fling yourself into it optimistically, confident that it really will be the best dang lemon cake you’ve ever sunk your teeth into or you grudgingly do it, all curmudgeon-like, waiting for that moment of smug satisfaction to prove hoity-toity Saveur magazine wrong.
Since I’m not one to scarf up lemon cake after lemon cake on a regular basis, I can’t say if it’s the very best damn Meyer lemon cake I’ve ever had in my life. But I will say it really is pretty darn wonderful.
As it should be since it’s based on a recipe by baking doyenne Maida Heatter.
A simple batter enriched with milk, ground almonds and plenty of butter gets livened up with Meyer lemon zest and concentrated lemon extract. It bakes up in a loaf pan — a light-colored one works best so that the cake doesn’t overbrown. When the cake emerges from the oven, it’s doused with a warm syrup of Meyer lemon juice and sugar.
Once the glaze has soaked in, turn the cake out of the pan. The recipe doesn’t say so, but I would advise using a piece of parchment paper to do this, rather than a plate, as the now-sticky top of the cake can easily adhere to a plate and come ripping off. Once you have the loaf out of the pan, invert it right-side up on a rack to cool completely.
Then, wrap the cake in plastic wrap and wait 24 hours before eating it.
I know, I know, you have to be patient, so that the glaze melds completely with the cake.