Makes 1 loaf (about 2 lb.), 18 to 24 servings

"Got lemons, make lemon bread" is John Perchorowicz's motto. His fondness for tart foods and date-nut bread, plus an abundance of lemons, motivated him to create this tangy syrup-soaked bread with the texture of fruitcake. If you don't have a food processor, finely chop the lemon and dates by hand, then mix in the remaining ingredients until well blended.

How to Make It

Step 1

Coarsely chop lemon, including peel and rind; discard seeds. Place lemon and dates in a food processor; whirl until evenly chopped. Add 3/4 cup sugar, the butter, and egg; whirl until blended and the lemon and dates are finely chopped.

Step 2

In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to date mixture; whirl until blended. Stir in walnuts. Spread batter into a buttered and floured 4- by 8-inch glass loaf pan. Bake in a 325° oven until a toothpick inserted in center of thickest part comes out clean, about 1 hour.

Step 3

Meanwhile, in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan, combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar and lemon juice. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.

Step 4

When bread is done, use a long, thin skewer to make holes about 1/2 inch apart all over surface. Pour hot syrup evenly over hot bread in pan. Let stand at room temperature until bread absorbs all syrup, about 2 hours. Turn out of pan onto plate. Cover airtight; chill overnight or up to 3 days. Thinly slice to serve. Chill leftover bread airtight.

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