Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nannie's Pound Cake

We rarely made this when I was growing up because Nannie always made it for us. Lately, she makes pronouncements about the very one everyone's busy eating. "This is my last pound cake," she says. Sometimes the reason is because the cake is heavy and she has to have help getting it into the oven. Sometimes it's because the price of cream cheese has gotten too high. I suspect that she loves it when we protest and beg her to keep making it for us, so there hasn't been a last one yet.

Maybe she floats that idea just to make us so happy when we have the next amazing piece. For me, this will happen in early June at my next visit. Looking forward to this time is what's getting me through the craziness that sums up May every year.

When I visit, I know it is going to be on top of the fridge in a tall cake carrier, and I know I will have progressively bigger slivers of it along with my mom and my sister as the trip unspools. I know Nannie will wrap up a couple of pieces for my dad, who will be sure to say, 'Oh, my goodness!' when I bring it to him. And even though I eventually hounded Nannie out of all her secret pound cake tips, such as setting every ingredient out for an hour so that they're all room temperature and putting the cake into a cold oven then heating it, not to mention the direct order not to halve the recipe (which, oops, I do anyway, and I do tweak the recipe just a little but not overly much), I always know my own attempt will never measure up to the pound cake she makes.

People, she sells this cake to everyone in town, and she ups the prices because she's mildly annoyed that the orders keep coming in and she sort of tired of everyone talking about it, and people in Columbia, Mississippi still fall all over themselves to buy it. It is the first thing gone from the table at the church suppers I've attended with her. I love dessert, and in all honesty, this stands as the best dessert I have ever had.

Make one. You'll see. Once I texted my family that I had it in the oven, they flipped. The desire to eat five pieces in a row was mentioned. This is a serious cake.

Nannie's Pound Cake

1 stick of butter
4 ounces neufchatel cheese
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups cane sugar
1 1/2 cups AP flour (sifted)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 teaspoon coconut extract

First, measure and set out all ingredients on the counter. Wait an hour. Now you can begin! Beat butter, neufchatel cheese, and shortening well. Add eggs and beat well. Add sugar and flour. Add vanilla and coconut. Pour into buttered loaf pan or small bundt pan. Put the cake in the oven and then heat it to 325 degrees. Bake cake for 1 1/2 hours or until golden brown.

Lemon Glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp. butter
3-5 teaspoons of milk
1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla paste

Whisk all the ingredients together; just add the 3 tsp. milk and then increase the amount if needed so that you get a thick-enough-to-pour consistency in the end. Pour this glaze over warm cake -- set the cake on a rack so it doesn't get soggy -- and let it set an hour or two before serving.

*You can also check out another classic: Nannie's Blueberry Pie.


Bianca said...

Although the little tag on our nicely wrapped piece was addressed to me, g2, and g3...g3 got a sliver. And said, "mmmm....aunt amy". G2 lost this round.

Bianca said...

Although the little tag on our nicely wrapped piece was addressed to G2, G3 and me ...G3 only received a small sliver. And said, "mmmm....aunt mamey". G2 lost this round.

Unknown said...

Mmm ... pound cake! It's wonderful that your Nannie shared most, if not all, of the recipe for that yummy-looking cake. :)

Unknown said...

By the looks of the ingredients, this is a very appropriate name for the dessert. Sounds like a great time.