The March equinox (this year Saturday, March 20, at 5:37 a.m. EDT) marks the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator, the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator, from south to north.
In simpler terms, it marks the official start of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere, a time that can’t come soon enough for most of us suffering through a dreary Covid year.
Now that it’s here, we have some lovely things to look forward to — longer days, warmer weather, and for cooks, baking with bright and beautiful lemons.
Add your favorite berry to this quick bread to celebrate the season. You’ll find these and other springtime recipes in my newest cookbook Teatime in Ireland. To order a signed copy, visit irishcook.com.
MAKES 1 LOAF
For the loaf
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 ounces butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons almond flour
8 ounces raspberries or blueberries
For the glaze
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy; beat in zest. Beat in eggs, one at a time, alternating with flour mixture; beat in yogurt until smooth. Fold in almond flour.
4. Transfer half of mixture to prepared pan; sprinkle over half of the berries. Repeat with remaining mixture, ending with berries.
5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until top is lightly browned. Cover loosely with aluminum foil; bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer, or until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean.
6. Remove from oven; let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Invert cake onto rack; return to upright.7. Make glaze. Whisk together sugar and lemon juice. Brush one half over top of loaf; let soak for 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining glaze.