Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gluten-Free Lemon Pound Cake

One of my favorite people came to visit last weekend!  My aunt Sara came in from San Francisco with my uncle Marty and my cousin Grady.  I met Sara when I was 15 – she and Marty invited me to SF for a week and I had an absolute blast!  They helped teach me to drive, took me to the Blue Man Group and Sara even taught me to make pasta from scratch.  She and I have shared recipes and food stories from the beginning and I’ve learned quite a bit from her inside and outside of the kitchen. 

This weekend, Sean and I joined Sara’s family for dinner with my aunt Mary Catherine and uncle Peter at a “fresh” restaurant called True Food.  I’ll be honest – I thought it was going to be a rough dinner because I’d heard you could only order raw food.  But, it ended up being delicious!  Everyone at the table enjoyed their meal.  I had a roasted corn and kale pizza that I’d order again in a heartbeat.  The reason we chose this restaurant is because Sara cannot eat any gluten.  The restaurant offered many options and we had a splendid time. 

The next day, Sean and I met with Sara again and this time we baked together!  Sara brought one of her favorite gluten-free recipes and Mary Catherine was kind enough to offer her kitchen.  It was so nice and relaxing to just hang in the kitchen and chat over food.  And I learned quite a bit about special flour combinations and a gluten-free diet in general. 

We made gluten-free lemon pound cake.  It was great!  The cake was light and soft.  It reminded me of sugar cookies with a hint of lemon.  Not your normal cloyingly sweet cake drenched in frosting, this cake was divine.  This recipe comes from the cookbook, The Blackbird Bakery Gluten Free 75 Recipes for Irresistible Gluten-Free Desserts and Pastries* by Karen Morgan.

Thank you for everything Sara!

1 C. Sorghum flour
½ C. Tapioca flour
½ C. Cornstarch
½ t. baking powder
¼ t. kosher salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 C. plus 2 T. unsalted butter at room temperature
1 ¼ C. sugar
4 large eggs
2 ½ t. pure vanilla extract

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (F).  Butter a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan. 

In a medium bowl, combine both flours, the cornstarch, baking powder and salt and stir with a whisk to blend.  Add the lemon zest to the dry ingredients. 

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on high speed for 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time and beat for a full minute after each addition stopping once or twice to beat for a full minute after each addition, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the dry ingredients all at once.  Beat for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Beat in the vanilla.  Pour into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 60-75 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Check the cake after the first 25 minutes of baking; if it has begun to darken, loosely cover with aluminum foil and resume baking. 
Remove from the oven and let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.  Run a knife around the edges of the pan and unmold the cake a cutting board.  Cut into slices to serve. 

 Sara, Sean and I ate our pound cake with fresh fruit and peach and cherry sauces.  Yumm!

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