a rustic pear cake

2 pears down, 7 more to go!

i bought a big sack of pears because i suddenly felt inspired while walking down the fresh fruit aisle.  they’ve been mellowing out on my counter top for the past 2 weeks before i decided to put them to use.  flipping through dorie greenspan’s book baking from my home to yours, i came across a fig cake recipe.  i thought the cake portion, which contains corn meal, would make a great rustic base for showcasing the sweetness and fragrance of ripe pears.  i added some sliced almonds too for crunch. and yes, it’s much easier and faster to make than a traditional pear tart. yipee!

A Rustic Pear Cake

AP Flour 1 ½ cups
Yellow Cornmeal ½ cup
Baking Powder 2 tsp
Salt ¼ tsp
Sugar ¼ cup
Lemon Zest ½ lemon
Butter 1 ½ sticks (12 tbsp) – cut into cubes
Eggs 3 large ones
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Fresh Pears 2 medium sized ones – peeled, cored and cut into cubes
Sliced Almonds 1/4 cup
  1. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper
  2. Using the paddle attachment, mix together lemon zest and sugar until fragrant
  3. Add in butter and beat until light and fluffy
  4. Add in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated
  5. Add in vanilla and beat for 2 more minutes
  6. With the mixer set to the lowest speed, add in the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, and cornmeal)
  7. Pour the batter into the springform pan.  The batter is very thick and you may need to use an offset spatula to even the batter out.
  8. Sprinkle the fresh pears and sliced almonds on top of the batter
  9. Bake at 350ºF for 55-60 minutes
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