This wasn't a success. America's Test Kitchen, you've disappointed me -- but so did my oven, so I think it's a little of both reasons.
This vintage recipe assured me that I'd have a light, fluffy, not-dense pound cake using a retro method of placing the batter in the pan, and into a stone-cold oven, and then letting it come up to temperature and baking one hour.
The *taste* of the batter was okay, but I followed it to the letter and saw my first problem almost immediately. I used the exact quantities called for in a recent The Best of America's Test Kitchen magazine 2009, and it prominently states that after scooping the batter into the pan, you should "smooth the top." My batter was so loose and runny, there was NO smoothing necessary at all, and in fact, it seeped out of the seams of the removable bottom for the angel food cake pan I was using. I quickly poured the batter back into the mixer, including using a knife to dredge it off my counters and back into the bowl (no lie), and then slowly added flour until it was less runny. Back into a freshly dredged pan, and then into the cold oven.
The instructions then warned me: Do NOT open the oven for one hour. Okay, okay. But, the problem is, after 15 minutes, I smelled too-baked cake. It was nice smelling, but far too toasty smelling to be normal after 15 minutes, so I opened the door, anyway. Good thing I did. The cake was dripping out of the angel food cake pan bottom and onto the floor of my oven. NICE. That's gonna be a bitch to clean. I quickly placed a pan under it and let it finish without disturbing it. Looked crappy anyway.
After one hour, the cake was done, and I eventually cooled it and then coaxed it out of the pan. I was amazed it wasn't adhered to the pan since it had baked into the seams of the removable bottom. The cake was not light and fluffy (my added flour?). It was tasty, but it was rather dense and a little too gummy for my taste. I took it into work and it was devoured in a few hours, but to me, this is not a signature pound cake recipe and I won't try it again.
The search for good pound cake continues.