Recipes from the Heart: LANE CAKE-An Alabama Original

Linda Rogers Weiss, chef and author, is a native of Alabama, now residing in Charleston, SC. She regularly shares recipes-all from the Deep South-with me and many others. I was introduced to Lane Cake during childhood days in Atlanta. My mother, an Alabama native, was one of those legendary cooks who performed culinary magic in her kitchen. Almost universally, Lane Cake is believed to have an Alabama origin. Among the Lane Cake recipes I’ve received, this rings with authenticity. Enjoy:

Linda Rogers Weiss

Mama Irene’s Lane Cake

Linda Rogers Weiss

Lane Cake

This recipe belonged to my grandmother, Irene Murray Rogers.

Cake:

2 cups sugar

1/2 pound butter

1 1/3 cups whole milk

3 teaspoons baking powder

3 1/2 cups cake flour

7 egg whites, stiffly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare 3 (8-inch) cake pans by lining the bottoms and side of the pans by buttering or greasing. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Sift all dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients alternating with the milk. Add flavoring and beaten egg whites. (I add the egg whites into the mixer on low speed. I finish the folding with a spatula, by hand). Divide batter evenly between the 3 pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cakes are lightly brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Filling:

1 1/2 cups sugar

7 egg yolks

1/2 pound butter

Cook in a double boiler until thick and mixture coats the back of a spoon.

Add:

1 cup raisins

1 cup toasted, chopped pecans

1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup coconut

Cook for another minute, and then remove from heat. Cool. See instructions on assembly.

Seven minute icing:

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 tablespoon corn starch

pinch of salt

1/3 cup water

3 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla

Set the mixture, except the vanilla, in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Beat for 7 minutes with an electric mixer. Beat in vanilla. Follow cake assembly instructions.

Cake assembly:

Place the first cake layer on the pedestal. Place parchment or wax paper around the edge for easy clean-up. Add a good amount of filling. Cover with a layer of seven minute icing. Add another layer of filling and repeat with icing. Add the top layer and cover with filling and let some of the filling go over the side. Use skewers to keep cake in place if needed. Ice the top and sides of the cake with icing.

Fluffy Meringue Icing

You can also use your own 7 minute or seafoam icing recipe.

6 egg whites

3 cups water

In a large bowl, beat egg whites at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil until temperature reaches 248 degrees on a candy thermometer.

With the mixer running at medium-high speed, very slowly pour the syrup over beaten egg whites. Continue beating mixture until it reaches room temperature and is a spreadable consistency. Use icing immediately.

 

More recipes from Linda: Memories From Home, Cooking with Family and Friends. Linda Rogers Weiss. Available at Amazon.com.

 

Old school journalism describes the style and stories produced by Doc Lawrence. “In everything I do,” he says, “there is a beginning, middle and an end.” One of the top travel writers in the country, Doc is steeped in the heritage of the deep south. Traveling the back roads from Texas to Virginia and on down to Key West inspires stories about local food and wine preferences, community theater, folk art and music often leading to clues for a good story. Heroes include Faulkner, Hemingway, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ralph Ellison, Dorothy Parker and Willie Morris. An Atlanta native, Doc keeps a well-stocked wine cellar and bar and two outdoor grills. He enjoys entertaining and believes that the greatest challenge for a writer is to keep searching for a higher life. www.thegourmethighway.com | doclawrence@mindspring.com

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