Although the topping is optional, we recommend it highly. Tart and sour flavor, combined with sugar, makes a delightful tart-sweet sugar that, when rubbed onto the crust of the finished cake, really punches up the flavor of the orange.
2 cups + 2 tablespoons (14 7/8 ounces) granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange oil or Fiori di Sicilia flavor
grated rind of one orange (optional)
5 large eggs
1/2 cup (4 3/4 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed or softened
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar (super-fine castor, such as Baker’s Special, preferred)
1/2 teaspoon tart and sour flavor
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" x 2 ½" loaf pan, or a 12" x 4" x 2 ½" tea loaf pan.
In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, salt, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, orange oil or flavor, and grated rind. Beat until the mixture is thoroughly combined, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter will be very light and creamy. Stir together the orange juice concentrate and lemon juice. Add about 1/3 of the flour to the batter, stirring to combine. Stir in about half the orange juice mixture, then another third of the flour, the remaining orange juice, and the remaining flour. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan; it’ll be quite full.
NOTE: This cake will rise just above the rim of the pan, look like it’s going to overflow, and then will settle back. But that’s why it’s important for you to use a full-size 9" x 5" x 2 ½" pan, or tea loaf pan; anything smaller, the cake will in fact overflow. Just in case, set it on a baking sheet lined with parchment, to catch any potential spills.
Bake the 9" x 5" loaf cake for 1 hour; tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out free of crumbs. Bake the tea loaf for 45 minutes; tent it with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes, testing for doneness as you did the 9" x 5" cake. Remove the cake from the oven, and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Gently loosen the sides, and turn it out onto a rack. Mix the sugar and tart and sour flavor in a blender or mini food processor. Rub the surface of the warm cake all over with the sugar mixture, as though you were rubbing lotion onto your baby. Allow the cake to cool completely before slicing. Yield: one cake, about 12 servings.
To grill pound cake, cut 1"-thick slices, and toast on both sides on a medium grill till warm. You may also toast it lightly in a lightly greased sauté pan. Top with vanilla ice cream and serve.
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