Citron Pound Cake

"Don't fight forces, use them." - R. Buckminster Fuller

Yes! Thanksgiving is literally right around the corner! Well, 3 days away to be exact. I went grocery shopping yesterday with my Mom for most of the essentials, and tomorrow I'm going turkey shopping. I know, I know, I'm behind schedule with that, but I figure since we're making an under-10-lb turkey, buying it tomorrow would be fine. All the ingredients for the stuffings, mashed potatoes, pies, salads, cakes, and all the extras are ready, both at my house and my parents' house. I'm super excited to start prepping everything and baking and cooking. I even downloaded the "Bon Appetit Thanksgiving" app, clocked in the times, synchronized the schedules, and have everything ready for crunch time. I do have to admit I'm scared, like beyond scared, of cooking the turkey. I've never cooked anything like that, not even Cornish hens. I'm thinking it shouldn't be that hard, except for the making sure it isn't dry part. I've seen my Mom make it my whole life, watched countless Food Network shows, and even Googled and Pinterested all the turkey recipes I could find. Roasting pan is ready, so are those oven bags and the meat thermometer. I'll update you tomorrow on the turkey we chose to buy and such. At least I won't have to worry about the baking. I definitely know my way around the oven when it comes to sweets. Apart from the traditional pumpkin and apple pies, I'm definitely considering re-making this cake for the big day! It's moist, with a light texture, and the citrus flavors go well with everything from soda, to milk, to wine (which I'll be enjoying all Thursday long, thank you very much).

Citron Pound Cake
adapted from: CakeLove: How to Bake Cakes from Scratch by Warren Brown

*makes: one 12-cup Bundt cake*

"This is my favorite cake because it's the first recipe I 'made up' - the first time I started adding unusual ingredients to a standard pound cake recipe. I was totally nervous and worried it was too weird - who ever heard of putting grapefruit in a cake - but I brought it into work anyway because I knew there was only one way to test it out. Everyone really liked it and they were intrigued at my first foray into baking.

Fresh orange, lemon, and red grapefruit team up with cardamom to create a bouquet of flavors in this tender butter cake. Lemon and orange are the dominant flavors, but the gentle tang of the grapefruit is a pleasant surprise. Cardamom provides a light, lemony background flavor that lingers after the fresh citrus kick fades away."

13 1/2 oz unbleached all purpose flour
1 tbsp all natural unmodified potato starch
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
8 oz sour cream
juice of 1 orange
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 red grapefruit
1/4 cup brandy
1 tsp "Crush" pure vanilla bean extract
1/2 tsp amaretto
1/2 tsp spiced rum
1/2 lb sweet unsalted butter
21 oz extra fine granulated sugar
zest of 1 orange
5 large eggs
1 large yolk

1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Set the rack in the middle of the oven.
2) Set out the ingredients and equipment.
- Sift the flour directly into a bowl on a scale for accurate measuring.
- Measure the other dry ingredients into a separate mixing bowl, add the flour, and whisk for 10 seconds to blend. Set aside.
- Measure the sour cream, fruit juices, brandy, vanilla extract, amaretto, and rum into a separate bowl.
- Measure the butter and sugar into separate bowls and set aside.
- Crack the eggs and yolk into two separate bowls and set aside.
3) In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and citrus zest on the lowest speed for 2 to 3 minutes. The acids from the citrus zest will break down the sugar and the creamed mixture will appear a little soggy.
4) With the mixer still on the lowest speed, add the eggs one at a time followed by the yolk, fully incorporating after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl.
5) Add the dry ingredient mixture alternately with the liquid mixture in 3 to 5 additions each, beginning and ending with the dry mixture. Move swiftly through this step to avoid overworking the batter. Don't wait for the dry or liquid mixtures to be fully incorporated before adding the next. This step should take a total of about 60 seconds.
6) Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl all the way down. Don't miss the clumps of ingredients hiding on the bottom of the bowl. Mix on medium speed for 15 to 20 seconds to develop the batter's structure.
7) Prepare the pan. Spray the pan well with a nonstick spray.
8) Fill the pan about three-quarters full by depositing the batter with the rubber spatula in small clumps around the prepared pan instead of by pouring it into one spot. Level the batter with the rubber spatula.
9) Bake for approximately 50 to 55 minutes.
10) Once the top of the cake doesn't jiggle in the center and appears golden blonde across the top, test for doneness by inserting a bamboo skewer in the center of the cake. When the skewer shows just a touch of crumbs or comes out clean, the cake is done. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a heat-resistant surface or wire rack.
11) Once the cake has cooled for 5 to 10 minutes remove the cake by inverting the pan onto a flat surface.
12) Serve with a dusting of confectioner's sugar. Store under a cake dome at room temperature, or wrapped in plastic in the fridge for up to 1 week. To store unfrosted cake longer, label, date, and store the plastic-wrapped cake in the freezer for up to 1 month.

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