Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lemon Cornmeal-Pound Cake

I heart this cake. The combination of the light, tangy lemon and the coarseness of the cornmeal makes for a delightful, non-traditional dessert. You even bake it in a loaf pan.

We served our cake with a fresh strawberry syrup (which looks suspiciously like jam. I promise it isn't). I couldn't decide if I liked it better with the berries or I had to try a few pieces of it each way for scientific purposes, of course. It would also go well with the blueberry "compote" (sauce made with whole fruit) posted below.

Lemon-Cornmeal Pound Cake
Recipe from The Essential Baker
Pictures by Caroline

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups cake flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 2 lemons
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 8 1/2 inch loaf pan with 1 tablespoon butter.
  2. Place the 12 tablespoons butter in large bowl and beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and cream together. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing and scraping in between each egg addition.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, powder, salt, and cornmeal. Add to the butter mixture in 3 stages, mixing well after each addition.
  4. Add the lemon zest and juice. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. It should be very thick, so spread it evenly throughout the pan. Bake 45 minutes, until the cake is light golden on top and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out slightly moist.
*We have tried both all-purpose and cake flour; cake flour makes a finer, moister cake, but all-purpose works as well.

Blueberry Compote
Recipe from the Essential Baker

1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh blueberries
5 strips lemon zest
  1. Combein sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, without stirring, over high heat.
  2. Lower the heat to medium. Add the blueberries and lemon zest. cook until the fruit is soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer compote to a bowl to stop the cooking process. Cool before serving.

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