After all the homey, nostalgic recipes I've been making of late, I got a request from a vip for something a bit more... and this is what we came up with as a result.
Cardamom Pound Cake With Ginger Pear Sauce and Vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Equipment: a 12-cup bundt pan; a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
Whisk together flour, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat together butter and granulated sugar in mixer at medium speed, scraping side of bowl occasionally, until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape seeds from vanilla beans with tip of a paring knife into butter mixture, reserving pods for another use, and beat until combined well, about 1 minute. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in lemon juice until combined well. At low speed, add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top. Gently rap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles.
Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan 1 hour, then invert onto a rack and cool completely, about 1 hour more.
Ginger Pear Sauce:
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Peel and slice (or chop) 3 pears, (We used I Asian pear, 1 Bosc and 1 D’Anjou)
In a large skillet, dissolve sugar in water. Stir in ginger. Add a bit of cornstarch if you prefer a thicker sauce. Add pear slices. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes or until tender.
Spoon warm sauce over sliced cake.
Beat the cream with confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract using whisk attachment of mixer until it just holds stiff peaks.
Spoon whipped cream over pear sauce.