A few weeks ago, my colleague Liz Balmaseda at our sister paper Palm Beach Post interviewed Jimmy Buffett’s sister, Lucy, about her new book, “Gumbo Love: Recipes for Gulf Coast Cooking, Entertaining, and Savoring the Good Life” (Grand Central Life & Style, $30), which is full of Southern coastal recipes.
This pound cake is a recipe most bakers will want to have in their collections. She pairs it with strawberries, a classic combination that’s hard to beat, but you could try with peaches, raspberries or blackberries.
Classic Southern Pound Cake with Strawberries
“Southern pound cake — it’s the first thing I learned to cook,” author Lucy Buffett told us in a recent interview. “Anybody in the South who went to their grandmother’s house knows, there was always a cake, some kind of cake, and something on the stove. With this cake, you almost want to undercook it a little bit. It’s buttery and hot and when it comes out of the oven. When anyone takes a bite of it, they just groan.”
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or use almond or any other flavored extract)
Fresh whipped cream, for garnish
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan (a tube pan is preferred, but if you use a Bundt pan instead, you’ll need to make sure to leave 1 inch of space at the top of the pan, so you may end up with a small amount of leftover batter).
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the sugar over the sliced strawberries. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve the cake.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the remaining 3 cups sugar, ½ cup at a time, and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk, starting and finishing with the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn the cake out onto the rack to cool completely. Serve each piece with a spoonful of the chilled strawberries and a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Serves 12 to 16.
Fresh whipped cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar
Place a medium metal bowl in the freezer to chill.
When ready to prepare the whipped cream, place the cream and vanilla in the chilled bowl. With an electric mixer, whip the cream on medium speed, gradually adding the sugar. The cream will begin to thicken.
Whip the cream until it begins to form stiff peaks. Be careful not to overwhip or the cream will separate.
— Recipes from “Gumbo Love: Recipes for Gulf Coast Cooking, Entertaining, and Savoring the Good Life” by Lucy Buffett (Grand Central Life & Style, $30)