After receiving Grandma Helen’s cookbook recently, I have been looking through it to see what recipe I am missing from my collection and need to try. Old-Fashioned Poundcake became the chosen one.
I knew that the premise behind “poundcake” was a pound of this and a pound of that – no kidding! Although this recipe is simple, there is a lot of mass to it.
This recipe is from The American Woman’s Cook Book published in 1942, so it’s all about “from scratch” which is what I wanted, and “by hand” which I wasn’t quite as interested in. But off we go!
I started by measuring the POUND of butter (an entire box!) and a POUND of flour and mixing them to “mealy.” Hmmm; the hand mixer will have to do.
Next was the separation of the POUND of eggs – ten of them! – separating the whites from the yolks. The whites got “stiffly beaten,” definitely not by hand, I left this to the counter-top mixer and it worked just find. After removing the stiff egg whites the egg yolks, a POUND of sugar and vanilla (just a tsp) went into the counter-top mixer, adding the flour and butter mixture, and finally folding in the whites – for five minutes! I think another job for the counter-top mixer, whether right or wrong.
I don’t think I have loaf pans like Grandma Helen did in 1942, I was lucky to have any loaf pans actually. Although, I think one of my loaf pans worked better than the other. The silicon loaf pan I got at a yard sale for $1 was great for the non-stick feature, but it cooked the bottom too much – not bad but too much. I almost thought “The Bad Oven” was back in at the Diner!
Anyway, before I serve the Old-Fashioned Poundcake at the Diner, I need to come up with a bit of a drizzle, I think a simple syrup-type lemon glaze is going to be the solution.
By the way, since the poundcake is four pounds of ingredients, will I only gain four pounds if I eat both loaves?
Here’s the recipe if you would like to do it circa 1942.
1 pound butter (2 cups)
1 pound sifted cake flour (4 cups)
10 eggs, separated
1 pound sugar (2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream butter, work in flour until mixture is mealy. Beat eggs yolks, sugar and vanilla until thick and fluffy. Add first mixture gradually, beating thoroughly. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Beat vigorously 5 minutes. Bake in 2 loaf pans lined with waxed paper, in a moderately slow oven (325ºF) 1 ¼ hours (that’s actually what it says!) Makes 2 loaves (8 x 4 inches)
I just realize this says “cake flour,” which I didn’t use. (Heavy sigh.) I’m going to have to try this one again.