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Oh, pound cake, you are so plainly perfect. Old as the 18th century, Northern Europe, and originally made with 1 pound each of butter, flour, eggs, and sugar. You, my dear, are an unforgettable classic.

My Grandmommy, (called Betty-Lou until her sixties when she changed it, on all important paper in her life, to Elizabeth), kept a frozen pound cake on the ready, always. She would thaw, then zigzag it with warm homemade fudge sauce, or tap over a few rounds of powdered sugar through a sieve, or slice it thick and put out a bowl of strawberries.

However you decide to eat it, like standing over the oven scalding your fingers as you fish out a piece before it has had time to cool, this golden standard of a dessert shines no matter its circumstance. I love it.

"This pound cakes needs nothing but a fork, but a some jam baked into the center would be outstanding."

Notes: Butter is unsalted.


Ingredients: 1 cup softened butter, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 1 3/4 cups flour, 3 eggs + 3 egg yolks, 1 tsp. almond extract, 1/2 tsp. salt.

Makes two standard 8x4 loaves

1. Preheat the oven to 350* and grease and line two loaf pans with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, beat the sugar with butter until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth, stir in the extract.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk (or sieve) the flour with the salt, then stir into the butter mixture until well combined.

4. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden and flaky on top, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool.

Tip: For a fluffy-soft crumb, sieve the flour and salt through a mesh strainer into the butter mixture before combining.


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