We have the nicest neighbors. They live in a sweet two-story victorian house built in 1870 and painted a pale yellow. The surrounding flower gardens have been a sight to behold through the years. Our first winter here, we awoke to find our snow already shoveled. It was 7 a.m.! When we called to thank them, they said it was a joy for them to shovel in the early morning hours. We soon realized that, in order to beat them to the shoveling, we would have to rise by 3 a.m.! So, we let them have their pleasure and repaid them with dinner invitations and baked treats. They are older now and less able to tend their large gardens or shovel snow. The gardens have diminished and we shovel our own snow.
A few weeks ago, the gentleman became ill and spent a week in the hospital. Plain pound cake is his favorite. It's my favorite too. The Baker likes his pound cake "dressed up" more. So we reversed roles and I baked some pound cakes for Ray and me. I sent him two. One to have right away and one to "age". I think the cakes improve as they sit for a day or two. This recipe was my mother's. She started her cake in a cold oven but I use a preheated oven. I don't find that it makes much of a difference. I'm sure she wouldn't agree. In any case, her cake(s) bring with them sweet memories in more ways than one. I hope you'll give this simple treat a try.
Just Plain Pound Cake
1/2 pound butter at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp each of vanilla and almond extract
5 large eggs
Heat oven to 350F. I used three of the 7 by 3 1/2 by 2 inch paper bakers from King Arthur. Even though you don't have to, I always grease the bottoms of the bakers.
1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
2. Sift the flour once and add to the butter/sugar mixture. Stir on low just enough to blend.
3. Add the vanilla and almond extract and stir well. Add eggs, once at a time, mixing well after each addition.
4. Spoon into the three loaf pans and smooth.
5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until golden brown and a tester comes out clean.
NOTE: You can bake in a greased and floured bundt cake pan. The larger cake will need about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes to bake.