Step 1Combine the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. Cool slightly.
Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Step 2Add the prunes, cranberries, dried pears and almonds and stir to coat the fruit.
Step 3In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, then stir in the buttermilk, oil and orange peel.
Step 4Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just until thoroughly blended.
Step 5Divide the batter between the two loaf pans. Smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 5 minutes.
Step 6While the cakes are still hot, prick them with a skewer all over the tops and spoon one-fourth cup warm orange syrup over each cake. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a rack over a baking sheet. Prick the bottom surfaces and slowly spoon the remaining (warmed) syrup over the loaves.
Step 7Cool to room temperature. Wrap in aluminum foil and allow to stand at room temperature for 24 hours before serving. Refrigerate for longer storage.