Lemon Pound Cake
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One 8" x 4" loaf
(From One Loaf at a Time: The Baking that Brought Us Together While We Remained Apart During COVID-19)
Pound cakes made without leavening can be tricky to make. The method is as important as is ensuring that every ingredient is at room temperature. Because there is no leavening, it's critical to beat the batter as instructed (on medium high for most of the mixing). Too low a speed will not beat in enough air and too high a speed will beat out the air. The results will yield a moist, gorgeous cake that is delicious with a fine even crumb. Feel free to add 1/4 tsp almond extract at the same time as you add the lemon juice and zest, for a flavour twist.
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Sift the cake flour. Very gently spoon it into measuring cups and use a knife to level the top. Set aside.
In a mixer bowl, beat the butter, salt, and sugar on medium-high speed for 6 minutes. Add the grated zest and almond extract and mix to combine. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time, beating on medium-high speed for 15 seconds after each addition (use the timer). Add in 1/4 of the flour using a sifter. Beat until just mixed.
Add in the 4th egg, beating just until smooth. Add in 1/4 of the flour beating until just mixed and then the 2 tbsp lemon juice and zest; beat just until smooth.
Add in 1/4 of the flour beating until just mixed and then add the 2 eggs yolks, ending with the last bit of flour.
Transfer half the batter to a greased parchment paper lined 8" x 4" metal loaf tin. Spread batter evenly in the pan; add the remaining batter and spread evenly. Place the tin in a cold oven. Set temperature to 350°F; bake for 85-90 minutes. Let the cake cool 10 minutes; then remove to a cooling rack.
Glaze with an icing sugar glaze (1 cup icing sugar mixed with 1-2 tbsp milk and 1/8 tsp almond extract) or serve plain.