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Poppy Seed Pound Cake with Plum Pluot Compote

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 plums and pluots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
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 creamAccompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream


Preheat oven to 350F 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.

Source: www.epicurious.com