Buttermilk Pecan Fruitcake
Preheat oven to 400; grease and flour 4 loaf pans. Separate eggs. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add pears and pecans; stir again. Set aside. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat again. Alternately add dry ingredients and buttermilk, blending well after each addition.
With clean dry beaters, beat egg whites until they stand in firm, glossy, moist peaks. Fold 1/3 egg whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining whites. Fill each pan 2/3 of batter.
Reduce oven heat to 350. Bake 65 minutes, until tester inserted in center of each cake comes out clean. Ten minutes before cakes are done, rotate pans back to front to cakes on each rack brown evenly. Let cakes cool five minutes on wire racks, then turn out and finish cooling right side up on wire racks.
Before serving, decorate top of fruitcakes with whole nuts and mixed candied fruit peel.
Source: _The Christmas Kitchen_ by Lorraine Bodger, sent by Nina Wichman (WYF.4.LYF) to Sylvia Steiger (THE.STEIGERS on GEnie, 71511,2253 on CI$) for the October 1992 cookbook swap