Monday, October 27, 2014

Mama's Pound Cake ~ Circa 1965

My oldest grand is growing up fast, too fast. We celebrated his 15th birthday this month, which is just too unbelievable for me to grasp. He's 15 years old, y'all. He's also such a treasure, but I'll refrain from going all grandmother on you. 

It has been a family tradition going back as far as I can recall to mark birthdays with a feast of favorite foods. Say that three times fast. And of course, birthday cake. Their favorite cake to be precise. That's saying, "I love're special".

Well, it seems during the growing process, my 15 year old grand has segued from the cloyingly sweet Key Lime Pie as his favorite dessert, to something not so sweet. We had a discussion on this and his request was a cake with no frosting. So I honored his wishes and chose Mama's very old pound cake recipe of which I have personally had a copy since the mid 1960's. This wonderful cake has a frosting recipe that pairs perfectly with it, but I didn't use it, obviously. The frosting is fabulous, however. It's different from the usual buttercream, very lemony and ever so light. Every time Mama made this cake for a church dinner or as a surprise for someone, she received rave reviews. Now, I must confess I did tweak this recipe somewhat, but only a tiny bit. Instead of using all shortening, I used half butter and half shortening. Butter is, well butter, therefore tasty and the shortening makes for a tender crumb. That combination works much better in my opinion. My other adjustment was the juice of a lemon, not lemon flavoring. Try this old cake recipe, it's worth it.

Deluxe Pound Cake

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 butter
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon

Cream together the shortening, butter and sugar until very well combined and the sugar is somewhat dissolved, not grainy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat after each one. Sift the dry ingredients together and add alternately with the buttermilk. Add the zest and juice of the lemon. Pour into a 10" tube pan that has been well greased and floured. Place into a cold oven and adjust the heat to 300 degrees. Bake for approximately 1-1/2 hours. This may vary with different ovens. Check it when the house smells amazing to see its progress. Use a tooth pick to test for doneness. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Place on a cake plate and serve with berries, whipped cream, ice cream or whatever your birthday boy desires. In our case it was ice cream.

Note: If using a two piece tube pan, be sure to cover the bottom of the pan with foil to avoid oven clean-up if any batter happens to escape. Trust me, you'll want to do this.

To begin, assemble the first step
Softened butter and shortening in the bowl
~ I really ♥ my KitchenAid ~
Next...sugar in
Round and round go the sugar, butter and shortening
The pic in the background is a favorite ~ My son ~ I love it with me in the kitchen

Getting the dry ingredients ready to sift together

Time to sift

Six eggs into the bowl one at the time

As you can see I had local eggs from a friend with pampered hens
The color and richness of the eggs, beautiful

Buttermilk (a magic ingredient) and the sifted dry ingredients
Begin and end with flour
I usually have three additions of flour alternating with two of buttermilk

I love this smell
Zest and juice ready to perfume the cake
Mixing is done
Never mix batter too long for a tender cake
Another photo 'cause it's just so pretty
Lemon juice containers
I saved the butter wrappers to grease my tube pan
Smart idea ~ Always thinking
Into the oven with a cloak of aluminum foil on the bottom
This is the recipe I spoke of earlier
It's been in this binder since...well, a very long time
The Lemon frosting I rate so highly
What's with my handwriting so long ago ~ Glad I got over backhand writing
This kind of keepsake is nevertheless, priceless
How gorgeous is this?
This is the foil removed from the tube pan and this is the reason it's a good idea

~ * ~

My grandson loved this cake and he took most of it back home with him after enjoying his dinner with the family and getting his birthday gift. His Nana would have been so happy to know her old recipe brought a smile to that sweet face.

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