Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pound Cake with Lemon Curd

The change of the season is upon us once again, but this time we're not talking about the weather.  We're talking about the season that starts every May and continues through October (sometimes December) for a spatularette: WEDDING SEASON!  The Spatularettes may be far from our own nuptials, but boy do we have a busy wedding season ahead of us this year!  Tall One's season kicked off last weekend with a bridal shower for one of her dearest friends.

Tall One needed to bring a dessert to the shower and wanted something that was easy to transport since the shower was out of town, but also something special enough to share at such a special occasion!  When searching for inspiration, she contacted another food blogging friend (check out her blog Belle of the Kitchen) who turned her on to these fabulous Barefoot Contessa recipes!  Lemon curd is bright and fresh and colorful--perfect for any summery celebration!


Pound Cake:
-2 sticks unsalted butter
-2 cups sugar
-4 extra-large eggs
-3 cups flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp kosher salt
-3/4 cup buttermilk
-1 tsp vanilla extract

Lemon Curd:
-4 lemons
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1 stick unsalted butter
-4 extra large eggs
-1/8 tsp kosher salt

-Optional: whipped cream and strawberries for garnish

 For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 2 loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the eggs, one at a time.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and vanilla.  Slowly alternate mixing the dry ingredients and the liquid ones into your butter/sugar base.  Mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Divide the batter between the 2 prepared loaf pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for a few minutes, then flip the cakes out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

While your pound cakes are baking, make the lemon curd.  Start by zesting 3 lemons, being careful to only use the yellow part of the zest, then set the lemons aside for juicing later.  In a food processor, combine the lemon zest and sugar and pulse until very well combined. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and the lemon/sugar mixture until light and fluffy.  On medium speed, mix in the eggs one at a time and continue to mix until well combined.  Add the lemon juice (4 lemons should give you about a 1/2 cup) and the salt and continue to mix for another minute or so, scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened.  Be sure to stir the mixture continuously while it cooks.  This process should take about 10-15 minutes.  Once the lemon curd is nice and thick, transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool in the refrigerator.  It will continue to thicken a bit more as it cools and should come to a nice smooth custard-like texture.

Allow the cake and the lemon curd to cool completely before serving (this is probably the most difficult step!).  Slice the cake and top each piece with lemon curd and whipped cream.  Strawberries are also wonderful dipped in the lemon curd and make a beautiful garnish.

Happy spring, happy wedding season, and happy eating!!

Tall and Small

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