Orange-Pecan-Spice Pound Cake
- 2 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted and divided
- 1 pound butter, softened
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract 1 teaspoon orange extract 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Sprinkle 1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans into a generously buttered 10-inch tube pan; shake to evenly coat bottom and sides of pan. (Excess nuts will fall to bottom of pan. Make certain nuts are in an even layer in bottom of pan.) Set aside.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Combine flour and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup pecans, grated orange rind, cinnamon, nutmeg, and next 4 ingredients. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pan.
Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove cake from pan; invert cake, pecan crust-side-up, onto a wire rack.
Brush top and sides of pound cake gently several times with hot Orange Syrup, using a 2-inch-wide pastry brush and allowing the cake to absorb the Orange Syrup after each brushing. (Do not pour syrup over the cake.) Let cake cool completely on wire rack. Arrange Glazed Pecan Halves around top of cake, if desired. Arrange Boxwood Garland around bottom of cake before serving, if desired.
1 large orange
1 cup sugar
Remove rind from orange with a vegetable peeler, being careful not to get the bitter white pith. Set orange rind aside. Squeeze orange to get 1/2 cup juice.
Combine orange rind, juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil 2 minutes.
Glazed Pecan Halves
2 cups pecan halves
1/3 cup light corn syrup Vegetable cooking spray
Combine pecan halves and corn syrup, stirring to coat pecans. Line a 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil; coat with cooking spray. Arrange pecan halves in an even layer in pan.
Bake at 350° for 12 minutes; stir using a rubber spatula. Bake 8 more minutes. Remove from oven, and stir; arrange in an even layer on wax paper, and let cool completely.