Lemon Pound Cake
Make this Lemon Pound Cake recipe, and enjoy the wonderful and sophisticated flavor of one of the oldest and most traditional cakes that you can bake today. This lemon pound cake recipe is a simplified version of the original cakes that required real skill on the part of the baker to pull off well and correctly. Even today, a perfectly made pound cake is a joy to eat and a real wonder to see. The original pound cake recipe takes its name from the ingredients. The original pound cake recipe took one pound of butter, one pound of sugar, one pound of eggs and one pound of flour. And that was it. So you can see the skills that would be required in order for this deceptively simple pound cake recipe to turn out well.
As you have probably already noted, there is no leavening agent to help with the rise. So the baker would have to ensure that when he (and it would have been a he, then) mixed the butter and sugar that the butter was to the right temperature. Then the butter was whipped first, by itself, to achieve spectacular lightness. Then, the baker slowly added in the sugar and continued to whip (and the whipping would have been done by hand, at that) until the butter and sugar were changed to a very light and pale yellow. That paleness would indicate the amount of air that the baker would whip in to the mixture. When that was done, each of the eggs, carefully warmed to room temperature, would be added. The eggs would be added only one at a time and carefully beaten, fully and completely, in to the pound cake. Finally, and then gently and easily, and by hand, not machine (even today, a purist will fold the flour in by hand rather than use the mixer), the flour would be folded in to the recipe. As you can imagine, the pound cake was the measure (and can still be) of the expertise that the baker would bring to the kitchen. A pound cake, made in the traditional fashion, is easily either cooked to little or too much, and can be more moist than it should be as well as too heavy and dense, or the pound cake can be too dry, either from being improperly blended, or just cooked too much. So a classic pound cake is indeed a test of the culinary skill of the baker.
In this recipe, things are made a bit easier. A leavening agent and sour cream will help things go much more smoothly and easily in this lovely cake. And then it is topped with an easy glaze.
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