What do you like most about this recipe? “This rich, delicious pound cake takes me back to weekends filled with my Sicilian grandmother Josephine’s cooking.”
Any tips for preparing the cake? “You can bake the caramel sauce with the pound cake. If you choose that option, spoon the sauce onto the pound cake top with 15 minutes left of baking, as the caramel sauce can burn. Or, you can skip the caramel sauce altogether.”
How do you describe this dish to others? “This makes one good, old-fashioned pound cake!”
2 sticks unsalted butter
½ cup Crisco
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. lemon, orange or almond extract
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup evaporated milk
Store-bought caramel sauce
4 apples, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
1. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, whip the butter, Crisco and sugar on high speed until it turns a pale yellow. Reduce the speed to medium and carefully add in the eggs one at a time. Beat until the mixture is well combined. Reduce the speed to low and add in the vanilla and lemon, orange or almond extract.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking power and salt. Add ½ cup of the flour into the butter mixture, interspersing it with ¼ cup of the milk. When all the flour and milk has been added, increase the speed to medium and beat until everything is well combined. Reduce the speed and beat until the batter is smooth.
3. Spray down the insides of a bundt pan with cooking spray. Carefully pour in the cake batter and gently tap it on the counter so the batter settles.
4. Place the bundt pan in a cold oven and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, rotating halfway through. (This time can vary based on the oven so pay attention.) Cover it with foil if the top starts to brown.
5. While the cake is baking, prepare the apple caramel sauce: place the apple pieces in a medium sauce pot with 3 Tbsp. of water. Steam the apples with a fitted lid for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until the water evaporates. Reduce the heat to simmer and fold in about 1 cup of the caramel sauce. Give it one good stir to coat the apples and turn off the heat.
6. The cake is done when a toothpick or cake tester is placed in the center and comes out clean. Run a knife around the edges and once the cake cools enough, transfer it to a plate.
7. Slice and drizzle each piece with the apple caramel sauce.