- Prep time
- 25 minutes PT25M
- Cook time
- 50-75 minutes PT75M
- Serves 10-12
As pound cakes go, this treat is not as sweet as most and boasts a unique texture thanks to the polenta.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup stone-ground polenta
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ lb. unsalted butter
- 5 large eggs
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
- ¼ cup currants
- ¼ cup dried apples, chopped
- ¼ cup dried pineapple, chopped
- ¼ cup dates, chopped
- ½ cup raisins
Optional Garnish: lightly sweetened whipped cream
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, polenta, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a standing mixer, cream butter at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until all have been incorporated. Pour in buttermilk, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla, mixing lightly. Stir polenta mixture into creamed butter, then fold in pine nuts and dried fruit.
Grease a 9-inch spring form pan with butter. Pour cake mixture into pan, tapping lightly on the counter to bring trapped air bubbles to the surface. Transfer pan to a baking sheet, then place on middle rack in the oven. Bake 50-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only small crumbs clinging to it.
Remove from oven. Place spring form pan on a rack to cool. After it cools for 10 minutes, loosen sides of pan with a butter knife. Let cool completely, remove from pan and, if the cake is not being served immediately, refrigerate. Cake may be served warm or at room temperature.
- <strong>zest:</strong> colored part of the peel of citrus fruit which contains flavorful oils.
- <strong>buttermilk:</strong> a dairy beverage liquid with a slightly sour flavor similar to that of yogurt. Traditionally, the liquid by-product of butter churning, now usually made by culturing skim milk.
- baking powder
- <strong>baking powder:</strong> a chemical leavener made with an acidic ingredient and an alkaline one; most commonly these are sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and cream of tartar.
Icewine got its name because it is made from very ripe frozen grapes. As the frozen grapes are pressed, the sweet, high-acid, concentrated juice is separated from the ice. Icewine is high in both sweetness and acidity - drinking it is out of this world!
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