Key Lime & Coconut

My adventures in the world of food & wine

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Test Kitchen Magic

I love trying out recipes from food magazines, especially when I have work to do (hello, procrastination!). Last night the lucky recipe was a graham cracker pound cake from the December issue of Food & Wine. Now, I was in the mood for something a little more special than just a pound cake, so I decided to kick it up a notch with some caramelized pears to spoon on top and soak the pound cake with their gooey caramelly goodness. Result: magic. Even Steve gave this dessert an A, and he's no grade inflater (unlike Harvard...) Oh yeah, and it's easy. Make this and thank me when you're rubbing your tummy and staring blankly into space in a sugar-and-butter-induced food coma.

Graham Cracker Pound Cake with Caramelized Red Anjou Pears

Pound Cake:
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour (I cheated and used all-purpose so don't worry too much about this)
  • 1/2 cup ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325. Spray an 8-by-4-inch glass loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter with both kinds of sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk the cake flour with the graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, cream, eggs, and vanilla. Beating a medium speed, add the dry and liquid ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture in 3 alternating batches. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (mine took 65 minutes). Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn the pound cake out onto a rack to cool completely. Slice and serve with caramelized pears (see below).

Caramelized Red Anjou Pears:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp brandy, port wine, or other liqueur (I used Sandeman ruby port)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2-4 red Anjou pears, peeled, halved, cored, and sliced
In a saute pan on medium heat, melt butter, then stir in the sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until it begins to turn golden brown. Add the brandy/port/liqueur and the lemon juice. Let it simmer to incorporate. Add pears and cook slowly to tenderize and caramelize. How long you let them cook depends on how patient you are; I let mine go for about 15 minutes before I devoured them. Serve on top of graham cracker pound cake.

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Blogger Claire said...

HA! Grade inflater! :-)

12:04 AM  

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