We asked the proprietors from two of the capital city’s most popular bakeries to share the recipes for one of their most requested items. To our delight — and yours, once you’ve finished baking — they complied.
Photography by Janet Warlick
[dropcap]Sisters[/dropcap] Kristi and April Williams (right) opened Brown Sugar Bakeshop in 2009 and have been in high demand since. Each week, they sell hundreds of sweet treats that include cupcakes, blondies and brownies, cookies, pies and cheesecakes. Plus they often set up dessert bars for special occasions. One of their crowdpleasers is a time-honored Southern favorite: butter pound cake, a family recipe.
Not certain you can duplicate this mouthwatering loaf? Visit the bakery at 419 E. Third St. in Little Rock, Ark., or call (501) 372-4009.
Butter Pound Cake
- 1 cup butter, unsalted
- ½ cup shortening
- 3 cups white sugar
- 5 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray. Sift flower, salt and baking powder; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Mix until smooth. Pour batter into pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool. Add your favorite glaze (there’s a simple recipe below) or dust with powdered sugar.
Note: Butter, eggs and milk should be at room temperature.
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
Mix. Let mixture sit and thicken. Pour over cooled cake.
Courtesy of Brown Sugar Bakeshop, Little Rock, Arkansas.
[dropcap]Paula[/dropcap] Dempsey’s venture into gluten-free cooking began out of necessity: Nearly everyone in her family — especially her husband — is gluten sensitive, some severely so. She began by baking cookies, cakes and breads. Seeing a demand for fresh and healthy gluten-free products, Dempsey (left) opened — to great fanfare — Dempsey Bakery in September 2011. She shares this delicious, gluten-free lemon meringue pie that she often makes for her family’s holiday gatherings. You can sample more of Dempsey’s fare by visiting them at 323 S. Cross St. in Little Rock or by calling (501) 375-2257.
Gluten-Free Lemon Meringue Pie
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup potato starch
- 1 cup sweet rice flour
- 1 rounded teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup margarine
- ½ cup Crisco, butter flavor
- 1 egg, cold
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 4 tablespoons ice water
- sweet rice flour for rolling
- dash of sugar, optional
Blend dry ingredients. Cut in margarine and Crisco in small dabs until the size of lima beans. Beat egg; add vinegar and ice water. Stir into flour mixture and form into a ball. Knead a bit, as rice flour crusts can stand some handling. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour or more to chill.
Divide dough; roll out on sweet rice-floured board or plastic wrap. Place in pie tin. If using plastic wrap, invert the dough into the pan; shape before removing the plastic.
For baked crust: Prick pastry with fork on sides and bottom. Bake in pre-heated, 450-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until slightly browned. Cool before filling.
Yields enough for a two-crust, 9-inch pie plus one pie shell.
Adapted from Gluten Intolerance Group
Lemon Pie Filling
- 1 ¼ cups sugar
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from 6 lemons)
- ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 large egg yolks (reserve 4 whites for meringue)
- 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted, cut into pieces and softened
Whisk sugar, lemon juice, water, cornstarch and salt in a large, nonreactive saucepan until cornstarch dissolves. Simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally until mixture becomes translucent and thickens, about 5 minutes. Whisk in egg yolks carefully so yolks don’t solidify, until combined. Stir in butter. Bring to simmer, stirring constantly until mixture is thick enough to coat spoon, about 2 minutes. Spoon into pre-baked pie shell. Place plastic wrap directly on surface and refrigerate until set and well chilled, at least 2 hours and up to one day.
Paula’s Italian Meringue
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to vigorous boil and cook 4 minutes until thick and syrupy. Remove from heat; set aside. Beat egg whites in mixer at medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Add salt and cream of tartar and beat, gradually increasing speed to medium-high until whites hold soft peaks, about 2 minutes. With mixer running, slowly pour hot syrup into whites. Add vanilla. Beat until meringue has cooled and becomes very thick and shiny, 9 to 12 minutes. Spread over pie, making sure meringue covers pie and touches all crust. Cook at 400 degrees for approximately 6 minutes until slightly brown.