Lemon pound cake.

You may not know this, but a well-made pound cake is a beautiful, tasty, delightful thing. God bless whoever came up with the idea of putting a pound apiece of butter, sugar, flour and eggs (in that order, I understand) together and making a simple cake creation out of it.

Pound cake is nearly a religious symbol in the South. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has a different recipe. You’d think a pound cake recipe wouldn’t have nearly so many variations, but everybody’s grandmama or grandaddy or Aunt Bessie or Cousin Alma or Aunt Ellie who’s not really your aunt but she might as well be family… everybody’s got a recipe. Some call for shortening, some call for butter. Some call for vanilla, some for lemon. Some call for chocolate chips or blueberries or peaches. Some are reportedly best baked in loaf pans, while others are better in a tube pan, and still others only work in a 10-inch bundt. (There are folks who would faint if you baked their beloved family recipe in a bundt. I don’t really know why.) Some recipes turn out a fluffy, pale interior with a barely golden puckered crust, while other recipes produce a dense yellow beauty complete with a toothsome outer dark brown crumb. It all depends on your fat, and your means of mixing, and the time spent mixing wet vs. dry and dry into wet…

Such a simple recipe doesn’t seem so simple, does it? Continue reading