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Della Robbia Pound Cake Country Living

Author/Submitted by:
Servings: 8
Categories: Cakes / Desserts

1  c  (2 sticks) butter, softened
1  c  Sugar
3  lg  Eggs
2  ts  Vanilla extract
1 1/2  ts  Finely grated peeled
    -fresh gingerroot
1  c  Unsifted all-purpose flour
1  t  Baking powder
1/2  ts  Salt
2  tb  Rum (opt.)
    -----FRUIT GARLAND-----
2  c  Cranberry-juice cocktail
1  c  Sugar
1/2  c  Port or red wine
1    Lemon, quartered
2    Drops red food coloring
2  sm  Firm Anjou pears
1  c  Water
10    Thin strips orange peel
1/4  c  Apple jelly
1/2  c  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 set aside. 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>

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