Friday, December 13, 2013

Pound Cake with Grand Marnier-Poached Apricots and Plums

My mother and brother in-law spend the month of November in Hawaii.  It is kind of a nice break from the MIL, since she is such a kind person and all.  But, all good things come to an end and they returned last weekend.  We had family dinner reinstated at our house.  Funny how, even though she is a Grumpy Gus, we do miss her.

We fixed deep fried halibut and I made this pound cake for dessert.  The poached dried fruit was a delicious accompaniment. The recipe is from this month's Bon Appétit but only called for apricots.  Just so you know, don't put the apricots on the stove to simmer, decide it needs to come to a boil so you turn it ALL the way up, and then decide to vacuum for about 20 minutes.  The burnt sugar and scorched apricots do not smell nice.  Then, I didn't have enough dried apricots for my second batch, so I added dried plums to make up the difference.  I'm totally telling everyone I added the plums because I like them and the BBoy needs the extra fiber...

Pound Cake with Grand Marnier-Poached Apricots and Plums
Bon Appétit, Dec. 2013

2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 ups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
2 cups superfine sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Apricots and Plums
2/3 cup Grand Marnier
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup water
1 11/2" Piece peeled ginger, sliced
lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Butter and flour the pan.

Whisk salt, cream of tartar, cardamom, and 3 cups flour in a medium bowl.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat 2 cups butter until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Reduce speed to low and gradually add superfine sugar.  Increase speed to high and beat until very light and creamy, 6-8 minutes longer.  Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend between additions.  Beat in cream and vanilla.  Reduce speed to low; gradually add dry ingredients, mixing until mostly combined.  Finish mixing with a rubber spatula just until combined.  Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 70-80 minutes.  Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool completely before turning out.  Can be made three days in advance.

Apricots and Plums
Bring Grand Marnier, granulated sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Add apricots and ginger, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently until apricots are very soft, 20-25 minutes.  Let cool.  Can be made up to 1 week in advance.

Remove ginger just before serving.  Serve cake with apricots and plums and syrup and whipped cream.

1 year ago:  Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 years ago:Pear-tini and the 12 Days of Christmas

December 13, 2013   Daylight 3hrs, 51 min, 34 sec.   Temp. H -13/ L -18°F

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