Since Sir Percy is a child at heart, it seemed appropriate that his favorite dessert would be a sticky, sweet confection he'd enjoyed ever since his nursery days. I can easily picture him licking the lemony syrup off of his fingers in Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea. I hope you'll do the same!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl.
Whisk until the sugar dissolves.
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
Optional toppings: whipped cream, clotted cream, lemon curd or confectioner's sugar.
Butter an 8-inch square metal baking pan. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add the sugar and lemon peel and beat until fluffy. Beat in 1 egg, then half of the flour; repeat. Pour the batter into the buttered baking pan. Bake about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake's center comes out clean.
Place the pan on a rack. Use a toothpick to poke holes all over the top of the cake. Spoon the lemon syrup slowly over the cake, allowing it to soak in. Cool the cake completely. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar or cut into squares and serve with whipped cream, clotted cream, or lemon curd.
Reprinted from AUNT DIMITY'S AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by Nancy Atherton by permission of Penguin Books, a member of Penguin Putnam, Inc. Copyright 2005 by Nancy T. Atherton. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.