I was poking around the internet one night and happened upon a blog titled “Project Pastry Queen” and was intrigued. Rebecca Rather’s book, “The Pastry Queen: Royally Good Recipes from the Texas Hill Country’s Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe” has been one of my favorites for many years. It turns out the members of Project Pastry Queen are cooking and baking their way through the The Pastry Queen one recipe at a time, one per week, so I joined up. The week’s assignment was to bake “Totally Rummy Pound Cake”.
First off, there was no rum in the house. A quick Google search told me that an acceptable substitute was pineapple juice and almond extract – problem solved.
I have to say, this cake is absolutely delicious! It is moist and tender, and not as dense as many pound cakes. It was quick and easy to make, and I will definitely be making it again.
Pecan Pound Cake
Adapted from Rebecca Rather’s The Pastry Queen.
1 1/4 cups pecans
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 10-12 cup bundt pan with butter.
Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until browned and fragrant, about 7-8 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Place 1/4 cup pecans in food processor or blender and grind until fine. Sprinkle the ground pecans evenly over the inside of the greased bundt pan. Set aside. Coarsely chop remaining 1 cup pecans.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter on medium-high speed until fluffy, about one minute. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one a a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula, until mixture is fluffy and light yellow. Add one third of flour mixture to the batter and mix on low speed until flour is incorporated. Add half the sour cream and mix on low until combined. Continue to add flour and sour cream alternately , ending with last third of flour, and mix well. Add the vanilla, almond extract, pineapple juice and pecans and stir until combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, until tester inserted comes out clean. (If the top starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.)
Let the cake cool in the pan 15 minutes while making the topping. Combine all topping ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir well. While the cake is still in the pan, use a skewer to gently poke holes throughout the cake. Slowly pour the topping over the cake. Cool cake in pan 30 minutes longer before turning out onto serving platter. Cool completely.