My co-authored effort with Frankie Avalon, The Frankie Avalon Italian Family Cookbook, has just come out. It is jam-packed with wonderful Italian-American recipes, and that means food for everyone in the family to savor again and again. This recipe for a sweet-tar, moist limoncello pound cake is based on the one from his Mom's recipe box. I am never without a bottle of limoncello in the freezer--it is a refreshing way to end a meal, and a wonderful ingredient in desserts like this. Hmmm. Just writing this makes me want to bake one again. The recipe follows...
Limoncello Pound Cake
Makes 12 servings
It’s good to have a good old-fashioned pound cake on hand for snacking, Mom’s recipe follows that tradition, but lately Frankie’s gussied it up a bit with a soaking of limoncello. Plain or fancy, this cake is good either way. And it also makes a great shortcake with fresh berries and whipped cream, particularly with the lemon flavor from the liqueur.
Softened butter and flour, for the cake pan
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine table salt
1 cup limoncello
¾ cup whole milk
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly butter the inside of a 12-cup tube pan with a removable bottom, such as angel food cake pan. Dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Combine ¼ cup of the limoncello with the milk. Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until creamy. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. (Or cream the butter and sugar well by hand.) With the mixer on low speed, add (or stir in by hand) the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla and lemon zest. Add the flour in thirds, alternating with two equal additions of milk, beating until smooth after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Scrape the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top.
3. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a long bamboo skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1¼ hours. Transfer to a wire cake rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
4. Run a knife around the inside edges of the pan and the tube. Invert the cake onto the rack and place the rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Pierce the upturned bottom of the cake all over with the bamboo skewer in a few places, and brush half of the remaining ¾ cup limoncello over the warm cake. Let the cake cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the cake right side up, pierce the top all over with the skewer, and brush with the remaining limoncello. Let the cake cool completely. (The cake can be covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.) Slice and serve.
Tags: Italian cooking