Della Robbia Pound Cake Country Living
(2 sticks) butter, softened
Finely grated peeled
Unsifted all-purpose flour
Port or red wine
Drops red food coloring
Firm Anjou pears
Thin strips orange peel
Champagne grapes, preferably
-in clusters (if not
-available, substitute small
-red seedless grapes)
1. Prepare Cake, Heat oven to 325'F. Grease and flour a 10-inch ring
mold or tube pan. In large bowl, with electric mixer at medium speed,
beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a
time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and
gingerroot until well blended.
2. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer
at low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture just until
combined. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and bake 30 to 35
minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
(Meanwhile, begin step 3.) Cool cake in pan on wire rack 10 minutes;
invert the pan onto wire rack and unmold the cake. Sprinkle rum over
cake, if desired, and cool completely.
3. Prepare Fruit Garland: In 3-quart saucepan, combine cranberry
juice, 1/2 C sugar, the port, 2 lemon quarters, and the food
coloring, if desired. Heat to boiling over low heat; simmer, stirring
occasionally while you prepare fruit. Peel one pear and cut in half
vertically; remove core from both halves. Place one pear half in
simmering juice mixture. After 5 minutes cut remaining pear half in
wedges about 1/4-inch thick and add to juice mixture. Simmer 2
minutes longer or until wedges are barely tender. Remove from heat
and let pear half and wedges stand in juice mixture 1 hour or until
they are rosecolored.
4. In small saucepan, combine water, remaining 1/2 C sugar, and 2
lemon quarters; heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Avoiding the
core, cut remaining pear, unpeeled, into 1/4-inch-thick wedges. Drop
wedges in simmering sugar mixture and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until
just tender; remove with slotted spoon to drain on paper towels and
5. Heat sugar mixture to boiling over high heat; cook until mixture
reduces to a heavy syrup about 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add
orange-peel strips; cook until soft-about 5 minutes. With fork,
remove strips to small dish and set aside to cool completely.
6. To decorate cake, drain rose-colored pear half and wedges on paper
towel; cut the pear half into 1/4-inch-thick wedges for slices that
are white inside with a thin rose-colored band around edge. In small
bowl in microwave or small saucepan over low heat, melt apple jelly.
Brush top of cake with some jelly; arrange all 3 kinds of pear slices
in a leaf-like garland on top of cake. Brush slices with remaining
apple jelly. Arrange small clusters of grapes among pear slices and
scatter candied orange-peel strips over top. Serve or cover loosely
with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.
Country Living/December/92 Scanned & fixed by Di Pahl & <gg>