Find out who you are and do it on purpose…
While I never thought I’d never be quoting a certain buxom blond country singer, Dolly Parton said it best and it seems like the perfect quote for me as I begin this adventure.
I’m a cookbook collector and recipe wrangler. Dreamer of chickens and honeybees. Creative crafter. Resolute renovator. Grower of way too much in the garden but I love to share. My friends have said that if Martha Stewart and Bob Vila had a love child, they would name him Brett.
For many years now, I’ve been called “Mister Martha” after Martha Stewart because of my love of all the -ings: gardening, cooking, crafting, etc. The name stuck. Mister Martha. It fits. Flash forward to 2012 at the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest where Martha Stewart was the host and I was a finalist. She stuck her finger in my bowl for a taste — she asked, of course! — and we chatted about the virtues of orange zest as I made my Orange Cream Macadamia Torte, which by the way, was actually awarded one of the few prizes given away that year.
In my mind, this was sign. It was meant to be. Orange zest. Martha Stewart. Mister Martha. Mister Martha dot com.
Find out who you are and do it on purpose…
So today I’m launching MisterMartha.com and I am so excited you’re here to join me on this adventure!
This video probably explains best what MisterMartha.com will be about:
I actually have another blog, ProjectKraemerLane.net, all about the renovation of my 1870 Victorian house. But, the actual renovation got in the way of keeping up with the blog and a few weeks of not updating it turned into a few months. You know the story. So I’ve moved over a lot of the content to MisterMartha.com but Project Kraemer Lane will be up through the end of the year if you want a more detailed look at the renovation over the years.
I grew up in the south and a lot of my culinary point of view is colored by my time there. My earliest kitchen memories are of my grandmother’s kitchen—she would let me sit on the counter and help!
In the south, every good cook has a pound cake in their repertoire. Pound cake is an example how a few simple ingredients, when mixed together, become something that is so much better than the individual parts. The aforementioned buttery deliciousness is given in times of joy and sadness. Births, deaths, weddings, graduations, retirements, welcome to the neighborhood, congratulations—anytime there’s a celebration or gathering, there’s a pound cake. It means love.
My grandfather’s sister, my great Aunt Lily Mae, made one of the best. She never used a recipe and I’m not even sure the version I have is really hers. That’s the thing with so many southern home cooks—they’ll cook you anything you ask for but ask for a recipe?!? That secret recipe may go to the grave. Hers had a buttery-crisp top and a moist crumb that I can remember to this day. The original recipe had equal weights of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. It contained no liquid, baking powder, or baking soda. And it made a huge cake! You know the tube pans with the removable center? That’s what she used.
Try as I might, it’s not quite the same but it’s pretty darn good. It may be sacrilege but I’ve updated and tweaked it a bit over the years—
- I reduced the amount it makes so I can fit it in a more manageable loaf pan which is basically fail proof. Pound cakes can be finicky. I’ve heard that if you look at the oven wrong, a pound cake will fall!
- I reduced the amount of butter and added a liquid. After several variations, I like buttermilk the best. It gives it a tart richness that I like.
- I use baking soda for a lighter cake.
- I whisk the eggs before adding them to the batter. Not really sure why I started doing this but it’s easier!
- And I’ve added additional ingredients—lemon zest, rosemary, etc.
Let me know how you like it. It’s a blank canvas so add whatever inspires you.
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! Here’s what you need:
Mix together and bake:
So, welcome to the neighborhood, I’m glad you’re here! Have a slice of
Aunt Lily Mae’s Pound Cake my Rosemary Scented Lemon Pound Cake with Tart Lemon Glaze and take a look around. By the way, I added a little lemon zest for good luck!
- 1½ cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1½ cups granulated sugar, divided use
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided use
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons very finely minced fresh rosemary leaves
- Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as necessary.
- Reduce speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating between the dry and wet until combined. Add the lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, vanilla extract, and rosemary; beat until just combined.
- Spread batter into prepared pan and tap on counter top to remove air bubbles. Rotating pan halfway through, bake 40-50 minutes or until done and a toothpick comes out clean when tested. Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, make the Tart Lemon Glaze. Bring remaining ½ cup sugar and remaining ¼ cup lemon juice to a boil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
- Brush warm lemon glaze over warm cake as desired and cool completely (if you can resist!) before serving.
The cleanup is easy too!