My birthday was on the 18th but we didn't do our family dinner until last night, since the whole family had been out of town on and off until recently.
The produce co-op I use is called Bountiful Baskets and the last basket contained 5 beautiful pluots. When searching for a delicious dessert, I came across this one and knew it would be perfect, and IT WAS!! so good!
The recipe actually calls for a plum-pluot compote, but I just left out the plums and used all of my pluots. What a delight! Because the flavor of the pound cake is better after a day or so, it's a great dessert for when you have dinner guests. It allows plenty of attention to be paid to the main meal! It was also very easy to make.
on Epicurious, from Gourmet 2009
For pound cake:
2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1/4 cup poppy seeds
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 vanilla bean
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, warmed in very warm water 10 minutes
1/2 cup half-and-half at room temperature 30 minutes
2 pounds firm-ripe pluots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (I blanched mine before peeling)
3/4 cup sugar, or to taste
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest , divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream with a bit of vanilla extract
Make pound cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan.
Whisk together flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt.
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean with tip of a paring knife into a bowl, then add butter and sugar and beat with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with half-and-half, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just incorporated.
Spoon batter into loaf pan, smoothing top.
Bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out with crumbs adhering, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan 30 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert cake onto a rack. Cool completely, right side up.
Stir together fruit, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon zest, and lemon juice in a heavy medium saucepan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until fruit begins to fall apart and liquid is slightly syrupy, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon zest, nutmeg, and more sugar if desired. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.