Recreated Sponge Cake from family of Confederate Brigadier General Roger Atkinson Pryor

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Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
May 12, 2010
Now Florida but always a Kentuckian
Mrs. Pryor made this cake for her family each Christmas season.

Sponge Cake

Step 1:

5 egg whites, 5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar, sifted 4 times
1/2 lemon, rind only (grated)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup flour, sifted 4 times
1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually beat in 5 tablespoons of the sugar and set aside. Add lemon juice to egg yolks and beat until lemon colored and so thick that beater turns with difficulty. Add grated lemon rind and beat in remaining sugar. Combine egg yolks with egg whites and fold together with a spoon until mixture is blended evenly. Mix and sift together flour and salt in separate bowl. Fold this into egg mixture. Do not beat after adding flour to avoid breaking air bubbles. Pour into an unbuttered 9 inch tube pan. Cut through mixture several times to break air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or more. When cake is done, loosen with spatula or knife and remove from tube pan. Turn out on wire rack and let stand until cool.


Step 2:

4 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten slightly
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Scald milk in covered saucepan. In a separate saucepan, combine beaten eggs with sugar and salt. Blend well. Stir scalded milk into egg mixture and stir constantly. Let cook until mixture coats spoon. Set aside and chill. Then stir in vanilla. If custard shoud curdle, beat until smooth.

Cake Assembly
Step 3:

3 cups split almonds, blanched
3 cups sherry wine
1/2 pint heavy cream

Carefully slice cake into three layers. Stick 1 cup of almonds into each layer, dividing them as evenly as possible. Pour 1 cup of sherry wine over each layer as it is reassembled. An hour before serving, pour the soft custard over the cake. Make occasional deep gashes with a knife so custard will seep all the way through cake. Whip cream and place on cake in large tablespoonfuls.

From: "Civil War Period Cookery" by Robert W. Pelton