Recipe Time!  Pound Cake and …Pickles?!

Down in the hollow we celebrate Mother’s Day with a gathering of mothers, mother-in-laws, brother-in-law’s mothers, uncles, neighbors, and friends.  My

My mother holding me.
My mother holding me.

own beautiful mother passed away two years ago and it was with a very heavy heart that I decided to keep our ‘gathering’ tradition.  This Mother’s Day tradition had come to mean so much to so many; those who are not able to be with their children or who had lost their own cherished mothers, or those who were simply alone.  As much as I missed my mother, I found comfort in the company of these dear friends and in-laws.  It is with joy I gather them this year for a pancake brunch.  On the menu is a sweet favorite of mine:  Cream Cheese Pound Cake served with Homemade Sweet Pickles.

Slice of cream cheese pound cake with pickles.  It was a hit with the "mothers" gathering I hosted today.
Slice of cream cheese pound cake with pickles. It was a hit with the “mothers” gathering I hosted today.

First I am going to confess the pickles are not mine.  As a member of the grocery store generation, I have no clue how to torture a cucumber until it transforms into a tangy sweet pickle.  I leave that job to my beloved mother-in-law who is a professional in such matters.  Yes, I said “mother-in-law!”  I happen to have a very sweet ‘June Cleaver’ for a mother-in-law whose southern culinary talents are as excellent as her generous hospitality and love for her family.

As for the pound cake, this recipe was handed down to me by my mother-in-law, and has been in her family for well over sixty years.  It originally belonged to a great aunt Emma, and if followed correctly makes a very fine dessert served plain or with various toppings…including pickles.

Now I am descended from a family of fine, southern, pound cake makers, so I

Pound cake & pickles!
Pound cake & pickles!

know my way around a pound cake.  One of the first time’s I visited Grandma English, (my hubby’s grandma), I was served warm pound cake with chilled sweet pickles! I was quite surprised and have to admit thought it very unappetizing…to the point of wondering how I could slip the pickles in the trash without offending grandma!  However, it did not take long to appreciate how the delicate flavor of the cake balanced the tangy sweetness of the pickles.  After a few visits I couldn’t wait for cake and pickles to be served!

So readers, give this recipe a try.  Oh, and let me know if you were brave enough to try it with sweet pickles, and whether you liked it or not.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake 

(Serves 12)

Ingredients:

1 cup butter or margarine, softened (1 cup is 2 sticks)

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs (go ahead and crack eggs into easy to pour cup or bowl, discarding shells.)

3 cups of all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ teaspoon lemon extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Grease and flour 12+ cup bundt pan

In large mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at until soft and creamy.

Gradually add sugar until well blended and creamy.  Add eggs one at a time,

Pound cake batter is ready to go into greased & floured bundt pan
Pound cake batter is ready to go into greased & floured bundt pan

beating just until yellow disappears.

Combine flour and baking soda in separate bowl.  Gradually add flour mixture to creamy batter, blending at low speed.  Mix well then add vanilla and lemon flavorings.  Note:  batter will be creamy but thick.

Spoon the batter into the greased, floured bundt pan.  Bake in oven at 325 degrees

for 1 hour, 20 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted into the center comes out

clean. Gently release cake onto wire cooling rack and let cool completely or serve warm.

Note:  This cake can be wrapped and frozen for up to 6 months.

Cream cheese pound cake without glaze or topping
Cream cheese pound cake without glaze or topping
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