Sunday Treats

we finally got a decent pound cake in the house (after many not so great attempts) and all it took was getting erik to make it. and it was everything a pound cake should be – buttery and soft and not too sweet and with the addition of peaches delivered from my co-op, it was um peachy. I’m in love with this cake. Seriously.

Georgia Peach Pound Cake
recipe from Allrecipes.com

You Need:

1 cup softened butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced up

Heat the oven to 350. Grease a bundt pan, or a 10 inch tube pan or do what I did (since I don’t own a bundt pan and have only an evil, wicked tube pan that makes everything stick to it no matter how well I oil it up) – butter two loaf pans. the original recipe asks you to sprinkle regular sugar in the pans (instead of flouring like you might with some cake recipes), but I had a baggie of maple sugar from the foodie exchange that I wanted to use instead. In your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Reserve 1/4 cup of the flour to coat your peaches. Whisk the baking powder and salt into the remaining flour and gradually add into the creamed butter mixture. Mix until it’s all incorporated. In a separate bowl (in which you probably set your diced peaches anyway) toss the fruit with the 1/4 cup of reserved flour. Fold the floured peaches into the cake batter. Either spoon the batter into the one baking apparatus, or divide it amongst the two loaf pans. Bake for about an hour, or until a tester comes out clean. I would watch this for excessive browning and cover it if it looks like the top is browning too fast for the rest to get done. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before turning out onto another plate or cooling rack.

And because I am currently obsessed with my own jam making skills and I’ve wanted to try a marmalade of some sort forever now, I made lemon marmalade. I didn’t make orange marmalade because all the recipes I found asked for oranges I couldn’t get (namely, the Seville kind) and the regular stock of navel oranges at the store looked poopy. And I couldn’t use half of the recipes I found for other lemon marmalade because they required meyer lemons. I cannot get those here. Fortunately, about.com had a super easy, non pectin recipe for regular old lemon marmalade. Ten lemons and a lot of patience later, I had 2 1/2 beautiful jars of it. It’s like summer in a jar, honestly. and since my summer is ever-rapidly fading, I’m determined to keep some around as long as I can.

Lemon Marmalade
recipe linked above

You Need:

10 large lemons, washed
4 cups water
4 cups sugar

Dry the lemons and using a vegetable peeler, peel off the rind. Try not to get the white pithy part along with it. This step takes awhile, I won’t lie to you. Cut the rind strips into 1/8 inch strips. Set aside. With a sharp knife, cut off all the white part from the lemons. Slice the lemons crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. The recipes doesn’t mention anything about the seeds but I was concerned about them so I picked each and every seed out of the slices I’d cut. But I’m anal like that. If you don’t want to do that, I guess you don’t have to. Place the lemon slices, water, and rinds in a bowl and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.

In a big non aluminum pot (I used my largest stock pot), heat the lemon, rind and water mixture on medium high, bring it to a boil, then lowering the heat. Cover it and let it simmer, stirring often, until the lemons are very soft. This step took me about 45 minutes or so. Add the sugar, jack the heat back up to medium high, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Heat to a full boil, then lower the heat enough so that the mixture is boiling gently. Cook uncovered and stir it pretty frequently, for about an hour or until it reaches 220 degrees. I put an episode of Law and Order SVU on my laptop and set it on the kitchen counter while doing this. By the time the episode was done, my marmalade was ready for jarring. I tested it the same way I tested my cherry jam – by putting a small plate in the freezer, placing a small dollop of the marmalade mixture on the cold plate, letting it rest in the fridge for a few minutes, then poking at it. It was a thickened, but not too thick, consistency. If yours isn’t, just keep cooking it and testing until it is. I’m pretty sure you can just funnel this marmalade into jars and refrigerate it, but I ended up going all out for keeping the marmalde in the pantry (i.e. boiling jars, simmering lids, filling the jars with marmalade leaving an inch or so of space at the top, running a knife around the inside of the jars to get rid of air bubbles, cleaning the jars, putting the lids and bands on, then boiling the filled jars for about 15 minutes). It’s a lot of work, but that kind of fun work is what my Sundays are for. If you want to properly jar, I say go for it.

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