Yiaourtopita - Greek Lemon and Yogurt Pound Cake

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We've been sharing Turkish meze (appetizers) with friends who also enjoy large meals made from a variety of small plate dishes. I'm by nature a grazer and love the variety that's possible when meals are built this way, but I always have a problem deciding how to end them. The classic dessert choices would be fresh fruit or pudding, but local fruit is in short supply at this time of year and not all our guests would appreciate pudding at the end of a meal. While trying to puzzle what I'd serve, I came across a recipe for a Greek pound cake that was developed by Lynn Livanos Athan. It sounded delicious and I thought it would be a perfect finale to our meze plate supper. The cake is kissed with lemon and made with yogurt, so I thought it would be moist and tender as well as tasty. Fortunately, it did not disappoint. The cake comes together quickly and the only caution I have to share with you involves the yogurt used to prepare it. Use full fat Greek yogurt and drain it for at least 30 minutes before adding it to the batter. That precaution will help prevent the cake from becoming gummy. While the cake can be served with fresh fruit, it also works well as a stand-alone. If you are looking for a new recipe for pound cake you might want to give this version a try. It's very nice and I think you will enjoy it. Here's the recipe.

Yiaourtopita - Greek Lemon and Yogurt Pound Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Lynn Livanos Athan

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, plus 2 whites
2 cups plain yogurt (preferably Greek-style strained yogurt)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish

1) Measure 2 cups yogurt into a fine mesh strainer. Allow to drain for 30 minutes to remove excess moisture.
2) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter a 12 cup bundt or tube pan.
3) Sift flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a medium bowl and set aside.
4) Using a mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and continue to mix for about 5 minutes longer. Add whole eggs and egg whites and continue beating at medium speed until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
5) With mixer on low speed , add flour and yogurt to batter, alternating between each. As soon as the flour and yogurt are completely mixed in, turn off the mixer. Over mixing will cause cake to be tough. Stir in vanilla and lemon zest. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
6) Lower oven heat to 350 degrees F. Bake cake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting on to a plate. When cool, dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 12 to 16 servings.

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