Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lemon Pound Cake

Yesterday was a great day to bake.  It was too windy and cold outside to do anything. My lemons were getting overly ripe, so I decided to make a lemon pound cake to put in the freezer to serve to guests later in the season when berries are ripe.

This recipe is done in the food processor and has become my favorite pound cake recipe.  I like my pound cake extra lemony, so I add extra zest and juice.

Lemon Pound Cake
from Cook's Illustrated, April 2002

Makes one 9x5 inch cake

For the cake:
2 sticks of unsalted butter, plus some for greasing the pan
1.5 cups cake flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 T. grated lemon zest plus 2 t. juice
4 large eggs
1.5 t. vanilla extract

Lemon Glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with butter and dust with cake flour, tapping out excess.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Sift if lumpy.  Set aside.

Melt butter in microwave.  Whisk thoroughly to reincorporate any separated milk solids.

In food processor, pulse sugar and zest until combined, just a couple of pulses.

Add lemon juice, eggs, and vanilla; process until combined, about 5 seconds.

With machine running, add melted butter through the feed tube in a steady stream.

Gently pour mixture on top of the dry ingredients.  And gently mix, until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.  Then reduce temperature to 325 degrees.

Continue to bake until deep golden brown and skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.  Rotate the pan halfway through.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack.

Make lemon glaze by combining sugar and lemon juice in a small non-reactive pan by bringing it to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and lowering to a simmer for 2 minutes or until glaze has thickened.

Poke holes all over the cake, including sides.

Apply all of the glaze, making several applications. 

Place wax paper below to capture drippings.

Cool cake to room temperature, at least 1 hour.

Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  It will last wrapped this way for several days.  Or you can freeze it for future use, but place it in a freezer bag, too.

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