I wanted to make a pound cake this week and, serendipitously, my parent’s next door neighbor offered to let me pick all the remaining lemons from his tree (Did you know lemon trees have thorns? I do now). Lemon pound cake it is.
Before I left New Orleans, I went to Dorignac’s Food Center to pick up some Creole Cream Cheese. This is a soft farmer’s cheese similar in texture to a mix of cottage cheese and sour cream that is both sweet and tart. Poppy Tooker has a recipe (as does Edible New Orleans) to make your own batch. If you’re not in the area or not in the mood to make cheese, you can substitute softened cream cheese or sour cream in the recipe.
Lovely lemon flavor and scent, light texture and crumb and just the right amount of tart to sweet. Perfect for holiday snacking with one to keep and one to give away!
Lemon Creole Cream Cheese Pound Cake
3 cups cake flour, plus more for the pan
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon fine salt
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
3 ½ cups granulated sugar
8 ounces Creole cream cheese (or use sour cream or softened cream cheese)
6 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
juice and zest from 3 lemons (about ½ cup fresh lemon juice), divided
1 ½ cups powdered, confectioners sugar
Butter and flour two loaf pans (three, if they’re small). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, corn starch, salt and baking powder. Use a mixer to cream sugar, butter and Creole cream cheese until light and fluffy. In another bowl, beat eggs until fluffy. Add eggs to creamed sugar and mix. Stir in vanilla and half of the lemon zest. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture and mix just until combined.
Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for an hour, until golden brown and a tester comes out clean.
Let cake cool about 10 minutes. Poke 10-15 holes evenly throughout cakes with a cake tester or toothpick. Pour ¼ cup lemon juice over the top of the cakes (works out to about 2 tablespoons per loaf pan). Let cool completely.
While waiting for the cakes to cool, make the glaze by stirring together the remaining ¼ cup lemon juice with the powdered sugar. Stir in the rest of the zest.
Remove cakes from pans once cool. Pour the lemon zest glaze over cakes, letting it fall down the sides. Let icing set for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Also good lightly toasted the next morning.
Wrap in plastic wrap to store. Wrap well in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and then in a zip top bag to freeze.