Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Fun New Pans and Pound Cake with Lemon...and Berries

I know that I have enough baking pans...but how many are really enough? When I saw these pans at the King Arthur Baking site I knew that I had to have them. Normally I would only get one, but each pan holds about 4 cups of batter, so with two I can make a normal recipe for a large pound cake or Bundt, but instead bake the batter in two pans. This means that small-ish slices will still look generous per serving, AND I can have a variation in one of the pans.

I did this by making a lemon pound cake batter and then putting a cup of fresh berries in one pan with about half the batter. The second pan was just lemon batter. Next time I think that I would put batter in one pan and them the berries mixed in with the remaining batter put into the second pan. You could also make this as the recipe does with orange zest and juice.

The results were delicious! The plain lemon cake was great with a cup of tea, but I did try slicing my portion in half, adding some raspberry jam, and some lemon curd on the side. That was an awesome treat! The berry slices were served today with sliced fresh, juicy strawberries. Even better than the lemon cake either way. The berries in the cake kept it moist and those strawberries went so well with the cooked berries in the cake. Do give it a try! You can just do the berries mixed into the batter and bake it all in one large loaf pan. You will have to bake it longer...about an hour to an hour 15 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean when done.

Fresh Fruit Pound Cake

from Great Cakes by Carole Walter 

1 cup fresh fruit (I used half strawberries, half marionberries, but you can also use raspberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, nectarines [pitted], or orange sections)
2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks/ 8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon freshly grated navel orange rind (I used lemon zest)
1 1/2 cups strained confectioners' sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice (or orange juice is using orange rind)

Wash the fruit, if necessary, and dry it well on paper toweling. Cut large pieces into 1/2-inch chunks to measure only 1 cup.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 2 3/4-inch loaf pan well and dust with flour. Invert over the kitchen sink and give pan a tap to remove excess flour.

Sift together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.

Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and put in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the beater or paddle attachment. Add the orange rind (or lemon zest) and soften on low speed. Increase speed to medium-high. Cream until smooth and light in color, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes is important to cream for the full time to add air.

Add the sugar, 1/3 at a time, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Then beat until well blended, approximately 2 minutes more.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, at 1-minutes intervals, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce speed to low. Blend in the vanilla and orange (or lemon) juice. The batter will look curdled. That's OK.

Add the dry ingredients all at once, scraping the sides of the bowl again. (I used quick On-Off bursts of my mixer for the first few seconds until the flour started to blend in...that way I avoided flour all over the place!). Increase speed to medium-low and beat approximately 30 seconds longer.

Spread 1/3 of the batter evenly on the bottom of the baking pan. Scatter half of the fruit on top. Spread on the second third of the batter and cover with the remaining fruit. Spread the remaining batter on top, smoothing the surface with the bottom of a spoon.

Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 60-65 minutes, or until cake is golden brown on top, and begins to come away from the sides of the pan. Try the toothpick test if unsure that it is done.

Remove the pan from the oven and set on a cake rack to cool for 10-13 minutes. Inver cake onto rack, remove pan, then turn cake top side up to finish cooling. When ready to serve, dust top lightly with confectioners' sugar.

Since I made my cakes in the new pan, they are served with the bottom side up. I made a quick glaze with lemon juice and confectioners' sugar and dripped it across the 'ribs' of cake and let it set...about 2 teaspoon lemon juice to 1 cup confectioners' sugar.

Storage: Store at room temperature under a class cover or in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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