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Print this Recipe    Polenta Pound

POLENTA POUNDCAKE WITH HONEY-LEMON SCENTED PEARS
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

3 tablespoons each: honey, granulated sugar
1 stem fresh rosemary
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
4 large firm, ripe pears, peeled, each cut in 8 wedges

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

For pears, combine honey and sugar in a large saucepan; cook over
medium-high heat, stirring often, until smooth and bubbly, 3 minutes.
Add rosemary and lemon juice; cook 1 minute. Add wine and water
and heat to a simmer.

Add pears, cover and cook over medium heat until pears are tender
but still hold their shape. Timing depends on how ripe pears are;
start testing after 8 minutes. Timing may be as long as 15 minutes.

Remove pears with a slotted spoon; set aside. Boil liquid until it
has thickened slightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Cool to lukewarm; pour over
pears. Chill thoroughly, up to 3 days, before serving.

For cake, heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9- by 5- by 3-inch
loaf pan and dust lightly with flour. Stir together flour, cornmeal
and baking powder; set aside.

Beat butter and both sugars in large bowl of electric mixer on high
speed until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after
each addition. Beat until batter is fluffy, 3 minutes. Add sour
cream, extracts and salt; mix to combine. Stop the mixer and add
dry ingredients. Mix on low speed just until combined.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted
in the center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool cake in pan
10 minutes. Loosen from sides of pan and invert onto a wire rack
to cool completely. Serve cake with pears and syrup served over
the top.

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