When the cookbook was published in 1931, the United States was getting its citrus fruits, especially lemons, from Palermo (Sicily) Italy. Palermo lemons were considered to be the very best lemons you could buy, and had been imported by the U.S. since 1883. I found that California was producing citrus by that time, but the amount and quality had not yet affected the import market. Florida's entire citrus industry had been wiped out by a killer freeze during the winter of 1894-1895; they would not replant until 1953. So lemons from Palermo were preferred, and if you had lemons from Palermo, you said so!
Palermo Lemon Cake Printable Recipe
2 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour
2 teaspoons Calumet Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter or other shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg, unbeaten
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (I used 2 rounded teaspoons)
3/4 cup milk
Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, and sift together three times. Cream butter thoroughly, add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add egg and lemon rind and beat well. Add flour, alternately with milk, a small amount at a time. Beat after each addition until smooth. Bake in two greased 9-inch layer pans in moderate oven (375 degrees) 25 minutes. Put layers together with Lemon Filling and frost with Palermo Lemon Frosting (this was a 7-Minute cooked frosting that I did not make).
1 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 tablespoons flour
grated rind 2 lemons (I used 3 teaspoons)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon butter
Combine sugar and flour. Add lemon rind, lemon juice, and egg. Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Add butter. Enough for two 9-inch layers.
Cooks' notes: This recipe makes 1 (9 inch) layer cake or 16 cupcakes. For cupcakes, spoon batter into muffin tins lined with baking cups. Fill a scant 2/3 full. Bake until just starting to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Do not overbake. When cupcakes are cool, remove a small core of cake, fill with lemon filling, then frost as desired. I used a ricotta cream cheese frosting, adding 2 teaspoons lemon zest.