First come the pecans.
As we head into autumn, Southern yards everywhere will be bombarded from above with little green capsules, their husks filled with the fragrant, nutty goodness of authentic Southern pecans. They will be gathered into peach baskets and prepared for toasting.
In preparation, I made a cake that very well might be one of the best things I've baked, so far. It is moist, and quintessentially Southern. Pecans and Crisco, included. You'll thank me later.
I nabbed this recipe from Saveur, a reliable standby. I froze the layers for a few hours, to solidify the crumb a bit; thawing them before frosting.
I will gladly admit that one of my layers failed majestically, collapsing in the middle in a gooey, but delicious mess, because I didn't leave it in the oven quite long enough. I adjusted, and made it a two-layer cake. Never a good feeling, but certainly not the end of the world.
This cake went over really well, I have to say. It is moist, and crumbly, and buttery soft, studded with the toasty, familiar flavor of pecans and coconut throughout.
Next time, maybe all three layers will make the cut. But, for now, I am perfectly happy to cut into a slice of this quintessentially Southern cake.