Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

Spring has barely sprung, but it’s time to start thinking of the fresh produce that will be here before we know it.  Out here in the wilds of Western Massachusetts, we have some of the best, most fertile farmland in the country.  As I was roaming around today, before tonight’s class at Stonewall Kitchen in York, Maine, I saw that the early asparagus and strawberries have arrived.  This means that blueberries are up next.

At tonight’s class, I prepared this great blueberry lemon pound cake recipe that I got from my sister Bea.  There were all kinds of recipes on tonight’s menu, but this cake was the most popular one.  It’s easy to make, and makes a lot.  It’s not made in the traditional loaf pan that you’ll find with most pound cakes.  Rather, it’s made in a bundt pan.  This means that you’ll get a lot more cake for the same amount of effort.  As the recipe indicates, you’ll get 12-16 servings.  Or, if you really like it, two servings.  With a tall glass of milk.

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

from Bea Grossman

Nonstick spray for the pan
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon extract
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup milk
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen.  If using frozen, don’t thaw first)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  1. Generously spray the bottom and sides of a 10-inch bundt or tube pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the lemon juice, and the vanilla and lemon extracts.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
  3. In a second bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the lemon zest, and mix until it is well distributed.
  4. Stir one-third of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, then stir in half the milk. Add another third of the dry mixture, then the rest of the milk, stirring after each addition until well blended. (Don’t over-mix.) Finally, add the remaining dry mixture along with the blueberries, and gently fold together until everything is thoroughly combined.
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted all the way into the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then turn out the cake onto a plate. Cool completely before slicing.

Yield: 12 to 16 servings

Classic Mac and Cheese

This is a a wee bit more effort than opening a box of the orange colored stuff.  But it’s the perfect comfort food that’ll knock your socks off.  And, it makes enough to feed a small army.  Or a very hungry family.

 

1 pound macaroni/elbows (or your favorite pasta)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk, heated, but not boiling

8 oz cheddar cheese, grated

1 pound muenster cheese, grated

1/4 cup (approximately) parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (a pinch)

paprika

 

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Set aside a 9”x13” pan.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the macaroni, following the directions on the box.  Set aside.
  2. In a pan, melt the butter, then add the flour, and stir for 5 minutes.  Whisk in the warmed milk, stir, more than occasionally, for up to ten minutes,  or at least until it’s thickened. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl, add the milk mixture to the grated cheese, and stir until the cheese is melted.  Add to the cooked macaroni, and combine.
  4. Pour the macaroni mixture into the pan.  Sprinkle on the parmesan, and then the paprika.
    Bake for 15 minutes, or until browned  a bit on top.

Makes 8-10 servings (or one MASSIVE serving…)