It’s time for another recipe! First, the recipe. Then, me blathering onward about my occasionally questionable culinary capabilities and the memories this particular treat holds for me.
- The Ingredients
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup white sugar + 1/4 cup for topping the cake
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or one teaspoon each of almond and vanilla extracts
- 1/2 sour cream or full-fat plain yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 pears: 2 peeled and diced, 1 peeled and sliced thin
- The Way of Preparing
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C/Gas mark 4
- Parchment and grease a nine-inch cake pan; set aside
- Cream together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs in, one at a time, and then add the extract(s).
- On a paper plate or in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Starting with the flour mixture, alternate between your flour mixture and the sour cream.
- Mix until no streaks remain.
- Fold in the chopped pears.
- Transfer the cake batter into the prepared cake pan.
- Spread the batter out evenly and tap a few times on the counter to get rid of air bubbles.
- Arrange the sliced pears on top as you wish. I usually do a pinwheel-looking design.
- Bake on the center rack for 40-45 minutes or until the cake passes the toothpick test.
- Store in the fridge for up to five days or in an airtight container on the counter for three days. It also freezes very well once baked.
- Use very fresh pears and cut the pieces up fairly small
- I always use both vanilla and almond extract.
- Add some cinnamon, no more than 1/4 teaspoon, and the same of ground ginger and nutmeg.
- Instead of applesauce, you can add a third large egg, but be sure to decrease the baking powder to 1 and 1/4 teaspoons.
- Serve with clotted or whipped cream warm, cool, or chilled.
- Not that I do, because I’m allergic to them, but this can also be used to make a strawberry cake.
This is the closest I’ve come to duplicating an old friend’s pear cake. He always used the fancy large baker’s sugar to top his cake and served this with a nice cream tea.
It’s not perfect, but the applesauce adds moisture to the batter, as does the sour cream. But you absolutely need that extra 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to help counter-balance omitting the third egg. I think maybe he used to beat his egg whites to medium peaks and fold it in to give the cake more volume? But I’m not sure and Antoni is no longer in my life to ask.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Please feel free to share it and post pictures if you make it!
Happy baking and Blessed Be!