This recipe has always had a soft spot in my heart since I was a little girl. The cake portion can easily be turned into a loaf of lemon bread, and no matter how you slice this, it is just the right amount of lemon flavor without being overly tart or sweet. Please enjoy!
1Using a stand or hand mixer, cream together shortening and sugar together until light, fluffy, and well incorporated.
2In separate bowl, sift together all dry ingredients: flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
3To the creamed mixture, add eggs--one at a time--until each is incorporated; add milk; add zest.
4Gradually add flour mixture to the wet mixture and stop mixing when just mixed. Pour mixture evenly between two greased 8 inch round pans with parchment lining the bottom of each (this makes it easier to take them out in one piece when they have cooled). Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool cool on wire racks until at room temperature.
While your cake bakes, combine and whisk together the first four (4) ingredients in a heatproof bowl for the lemon curd. Over a double boiler (placing a heat-proof bowl over a pan of boiling water, taking care not to have the bowl touching the bowl itself), continually whisk the lemon mixture until very thick; about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk butter in until incorporated. Strain into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap DIRECTLY onto the curd to prevent a skin from forming on the top. Refrigerate until chilled.
Combine all ingredients in bowl and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
7When cakes have come to room temperature, level the tops of the cakes using a knife. When both both cakes have been leveled, put chilled lemon curd on top of one of the cakes--but not the sides--then place the other cake on top of the curd covered cake. Gently frost the cake with the Chantilly cream and decorate with fresh fruit if desired. Enjoy!