Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Pound Cake

One of my very favorite desserts to make is my Nana's pound cake. The recipe is one of those passed down in the handwriting of my beloved grandmother on a yellowing page of her cook book. This book is one of the most treasured possessions I own; although she has been gone for many years now, every time I make her pound cake, I feel her in the kitchen next to me. Nothing is more quintessential MSC than a recipe such as this; however, to be truly MSC, there has to be a twist. In celebration of the autumn season here in the South, the recipe calls for pumpkin and spice. The following recipe, although reluctant to give, is my grandmother's deliciously light and moist pound cake with a fall twist. I hope it brings as much joy to your family as it brings to me every time I make it. I love you Nana Handy!

1 Cup Vegetable Shortening
3 Cups Sugar
1 Stick Softened Butter
5 Eggs
1 15oz Can Pure Pumpkin (Not Pumpkin Pie Filling)
2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Cup Whole Milk
 Preheat Oven Temperature: 325 degrees (F)
1. Spray your bundt pan with non-cooking spray with flour. I prefer to use the floured spray rather than the shortening and flour technique because of the intricate detail of my bundt pan. I tend to have better luck with a clean release. However, it is key to be liberal with your coating, no matter which technique you choose. The last thing you want is a delicious cake held captive in a sticky pan!
2. Cream the butter, shortening and sugar in a stand mixer. Allow the mixture to become fluffy. This step is very important for setting up the texture of the cake.
3. Add the 5 eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl periodically.
4. Add the pure pumpkin puree and vanilla to the mixer; mix well.
5. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
5. Beginning with one-third of the dry ingredients, alternate dry ingredients and milk, allowing each step to become incorporated before alternating. You will do three alternating cycles, ending with the milk.
6. Pour into the prepared bundt pan. I place the pan onto a cookie sheet before placing in the oven just to catch any possible overflow. I would much rather clean a cookie sheet rather than the entire oven bottom!
7. The cooking time will depend on the size of your pan and your oven. After 1 hour 15 minutes, check the cake. DO NOT stick it with a tester; you will have a fallen cake if you do! Begin watching the cake every 15 minutes until the top is firm to the touch and there is no jiggling motion to the cake. If you test the cake at this point, you might still get some moist crumbs attach to the tester, but there should be no batter. My cake takes 2 hours to bake.
8. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan.
9. Invert the cake onto your serving dish. If you coated the pan well, the cake will release with no problem and you will be left with a steaming, beautiful cake.
10. I like to serve with whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.

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