This has been a week full of celebration. My birthday and my son's birthday fall just two days apart during this beautiful season of azaleas and dogwoods. We both always want the same cake, so we often celebrate with it on the day between our birthdays.
The cake we both love so much is from a recipe my great-grandmother (for whom I was named) brought over from England when she immigrated. Her daughter made it often, her granddaughter made it often, I make it often, and now my son can help continue the tradition.
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Great-Granny's Pound Cake
3 cups sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
3 cups flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1. Bring the butter and eggs to room temperature.
2. Prepare a tube pan or a bundt pan by greasing it with butter. Sprinkle flour in the pan and shake to distribute. Dump out any remaining flour.
3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and smooth. A good stand mixer makes this process much easier, but you can do it with a hand egg beater if you are patient and strong.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat them in well.
5. Mix in the lemon zest and lemon juice.
6. Alternately add a little flour and a little cream and mix until all is incorporated. Don't overbeat.
7. Pour into the prepared cake mold, using a rubber spatula to get every last bit.
8. Put the pan into a cold oven and set the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for 90 minutes or until it is golden brown and smells heavenly.
9. Let it cool a bit, if you can wait--especially if you're putting wax candles in, which will melt into the cake otherwise!
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One of the tricks that makes this cake turn out so well is to use cream, butter, and eggs from grassfed animals. I know those are the only things my great-grandmother had access to, but it means making a decision these days. Going grass-fed means this gastronomical splurge is a bit better for you since these ingredients will be higher in vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid than conventional eggs and dairy would be. (You're also reducing the chance of food poisioning if you lick the delicious batter from the bowl!)