Cornmeal Pound Cake with Spiced Pear Preserves
Cornmeal adds a nuttiness to the flavor of this classic pound cake. Make extra preserves to can and store, so you can enjoy this pairing anytime of the year.
Yields: 1 (10-inch) bundt cake
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups fine-ground yellow cornmeal
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup whole milk
- Spiced Pear Preserves (recipe follows)
- Garnish: grated fresh nutmeg
- Pear Preserves
- Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Spoon batter into prepared pan. (Batter will be thick.)
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with Spiced Pear Preserves. Garnish with nutmeg, if desired.
Stone-ground cornmeal has more corn taste because it is ground from the whole corn kernel. That also makes it more perishable, so store it in the freezer to keep it from becoming rancid.
Spiced Pear Preserves
- 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
- 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 cups chopped peeled Bartlett pears (about 4 medium pears)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 whole star anise pods
- 2 (3-inch) sticks cinnamon
- In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine lemon slices and lemon juice. Add pears; toss to coat. Add sugars and all remaining ingredients, tossing to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring frequently, until very thick, about 30 minutes. Remove lemon slices, star anise, and cinnamon sticks. Let cool to room temperature. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.