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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Deacon Burton's Country Pound Cake

Some day, I will learn to let things be, but evidently not today.

Last week, I made a lovely apple cake, and while looking for the recipe, I stumbled across a pound cake recipe that I haven't made in maybe 30+ years. Jeez, I must be old.

Anyway, today I pulled out the recipe with the double titles - Aunt Clare's Pound Cake AKA Deacon Burton's Country Pound Cake.

This is not my cake; it is Amelia's, but mine looks just like it. Except for the fancy plate, the pretty background and the good photography.  My computer died, and I can't get the pictures of my cake that are on my phone to download. Please don't sue me.

Aunt Clare was one of my mother's older sisters. She was funny, self effacing, had a beautiful alto voice and was chubby since childhood. Granny sent her to fat camp in the late 1920's or early 30's - fat was unattractive, and Granny didn't believe in that kind of thing under her roof. Clare didn't have a single gray hair on her dark brunette head the day she died of liver cancer at the age of 72 (having previously survived mouth cancer). Everybody loved Clare.

I wanted to see if there was some record of the Deacon's recipe out there, so naturally I turned to Google. I found a reference to Son's Place, an Atlanta restaurant, now closed. Turns out Son was the son of Deacon Burton, and took over running the place after his daddy died.

Son's Place, before it closed. Classified as a "meat and 3" restaurant.

I have no idea how Aunt Clare got this recipe. The family was from Kentucky, not Georgia.

Anyhoo, I started mixing things according to the recipe, and then I had a thought. This is almost never good.

Instead of the 2  teaspoons of vanilla or lemon, I decided I would add 1/2 teaspoon of Fiori Di Sicilia, an oil based citrus and vanilla flavoring. The thing I forgot is that I don't care for that flavoring very much. It has just a bit too much citrus peel flavor for me. I like plain old pound cake, with either slightly too much real vanilla extract OR fresh squeezed lemon juice (and no peel), but not both. Or maybe I would like both of those, but that's not what I added.

Then I got nervous that I didn't see any leavening agents in the Deacon's recipe, so I found the Land O' Lakes butter people's lemon pound cake recipe, and used what they had listed. Turns out, the Deacon's cake doesn't do too well if you add leavening. What that addition tends to do is make the batter rise up just enough to spill out onto the oven floor and make a big stinky mess.

So it's 90° outside, the air conditioner is on, and so is the self cleaning oven. I guess it would be more uncomfortable if there was a self cleaning oven and no A/C, but this combo makes for some very nice energy sucking guilt.

And the cake doesn't even taste good enough to make me feel better. Poo. Anyway, here is the original version of

1  pound of butter, softened
1 pound white sugar  (2.25 cups)
1 pound flour  (3.25 cups)
8 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla or lemon

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Slowly incorporate the flour.
Pour batter into a well greased tube or bundt pan.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 325° for an hour and 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes and invert onto a cooling rack or plate.

If you know Son, I would dearly love to talk with him.

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