Monday, October 4, 2010

Old fashioned

It's hard to argue with a good pound cake.  And this weekend, at a bake sale at the Friends' meetinghouse, i got a good pound cake.  Which, happily, had a photocopied recipe taped to the top:

Grandmother's Pound Cake
Use an electric mixer for superior cake.  Pound cake improves if stored a day or two.  Butter is its characteristic flavor, but you may like to add 1/2 teaspoon mace, or 2 tablespoons brandy or orange juice, or 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, or 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Butter and flour a large loaf pan or two or more small ones.  Set the oven at 300F.

Cream until light and fluffy
     1 cup butter
     1-2/3 cups sugar
Beat in, one at a time
     5 eggs
When creamy, fold in
     2 cups pastry or cake flour
     1/4 teaspoon salt
Spoon into the pan.

Bake about 1-1/2 hours.

Ginger Pound Cake.  Add 2 tablespoons yellow ginger to the mixture.

Imperial Cake.  Cut 1/2 pound seeded raisins in pieces and dredge lightly with flour.  Break 1/2 cup walnut meats in pieces.  Grate the rind of 1/2 lemon.  Prepare the cake batter and add 2 teaspoons lemon juice.  Fold in the raisins, nuts and lemon rind, and bake.

For the record, the one i got had caraway seeds, and i don't think that's a version i'll repeat - the rye bread association is just too ingrained.  Now, poppy seeds, with lemon, perhaps... or a hint of maple, maybe with the orange juice and vanilla... i can see lots of other variations.     

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