Life gave me lemons this week…..so I made pound cake!
I harvested 6 meyer lemons this morning from my trusty little tree and there are still about 25 more that will be ready to pick by early next week. My tree was a little lazy this fall, since I usually harvest around early November, right in time for Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, I guess I’ll be making more lemon treats this holiday season. I recently made my first chiffon cake and now I have just made my first pound cake. Honestly, I don’t know how I got through culinary school without baking either one of these cakes.
I can’t recall the last recipe I typed that didn’t start with “Preheat the oven to…..” Well, this one doesn’t!! The pound cake goes into a “cold” (i.e., non-preheated) oven, a technique popular in the 1920’s-40’s. Then it is baked for a longer time at a lower temperature. It is imperative that the butter, eggs, and sour cream be at room temperature to start. While I don’t know the food science behind this, I know the result is delicious! This cold oven method produces a moist, tender, and dense pound cake with minimal crumb. The recipe was right on with a great lemony flavor in both the cake and glaze. The tart raspberry sauce complemented the lemon flavor and help cut the sweetness. The loaves were a bit flatter than I expected, but next time I will use some small individual loaf pans to bake them in and fill the pans with a little more batter.
Especially with the raspberry sauce, this would be great to serve on Christmas morning, with or without the lemon flavoring!
For the pound cake
3 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
grated zest of 2 large lemons
2 tablespoons lemon extract
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
For the glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
For the raspberry sauce
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice, to taste
1 tablespoon Chambord raspberry liqueur, optional
Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position. Do not preheat the oven. Grease and flour a 12-cup fluted tube pan or two 5″x9″ loaf pans. Whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Whisk together the sour cream, vanilla, zest, lemon extract, and lemon juice in a small bowl until the mixture is completely smooth and set aside. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated; scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple times. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with 2 portions of the sour cream/lemon mixture. Give the batter a final mix for 15-20 seconds until it’s smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth over the top, if needed. Put the cake in the cold oven and turn the oven on to 325 degrees F. Bake for 65-75 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the cake on a cooling rack for 45 minutes and invert loaf pan to remove the pound cake.
After you invert the cake, make the glaze by thoroughly combining the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Brush the glaze all over the warm cake. The cake will absorb the glaze so be sure to keep brushing it on until all the glaze is gone. (I only used about 3/4 of the glaze).
To make the raspberry sauce, combine the raspberries, sugar, orange juice and Chambord in a blender. Cover and blend on high until smooth. Press through sieve to remove seeds.