I found these little pears and made this cake last December. I misplaced the notes I made on the ingredients and totally forgot all about the recipe until now. I don’t know what happened. I am a very well organized person with quite a good memory.
This was an experimental baking, which to my delight, turned out a success. As we all know, not every experimental cooking/baking turns out as expected. When it comes to making a dessert, regardless of time it consumes, I like to make one which has a surprise or two hidden inside. This cake definitely will delight your family and guests. Without the pears, the cake is also a super delicious, decadent almond cake.
Pears in Almond Cake
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
For the stuffed pears:
• 5 firm pears, 7.5cm/3″ tall, with long stems (looks better)
• 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
• ½ tsp lemon juice
For the pear stuffing
• 4 Tbsp pistachios, salted/unsalted, shelled
• 8 dried apricots, about 2.5cm/1″ diameter pieces
For the cake
• 64 g/ ½ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp cardamom
• 113 g/ ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 132 g/ 2/3 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs, at room temperature
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 120 g/ 1 cup almonds, blanched, dry roasted, unsalted and finely ground
◊ To poach the pears:
– Peel the pears and using grapefruit spoon, from the bottom of the pear, very carefully hollow the core/seeds out and make a hole about 2cm/¾” diameter.
– In a pot large enough to fit 5 pears, fill with water half way, add sugar, lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low. Submerge the pears and cover. Simmer for less than 5 minutes or until pears soften only a little (need to be kept firm in shape). Drain and set aside to cool.
◊ To make the pear stuffing: In a food processor, grind pistachios and apricots into very small pieces. Roll 5 2cm/¾” balls. Set aside.
◊ Spray a 23cm/9″ oven-safe, deep tart/pie dish with non-stick spray (recommended to serve in the dish) -or- spray a 23cm/9″ non-stick cake pan with a non-stick spray.
◊ Place the rack in the middle shelf of the oven and preheat oven to 175ºC / 350ºF
◊ Thoroughly whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom.
◊ Using a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until well incorporated. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Then, while still beating, sprinkle ground almonds and beat until well incorporated. Stop the mixer.
◊ Sprinkle ¼ of flour at a time and with a silicone spatula fold into the almond mixture, just enough to incorporate the flour, scraping sides of the bowl. For a fluffier cake, don’t over mix.
◊ Pour 1/3 of the batter into the cake pan and spread it evenly. Insert the pistachio balls into pears and place the pears on the batter. Spoon in remainder of the batter all around the pears and smooth it evenly.
◊ Bake for 23 ~ 28 minutes or until golden brown, or inserted bamboo skewer in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan/tart dish on a rack.
◊ If a cake pan is used, very carefully loosen the side of the cake (if needed). To keep the cake from falling apart from the pears, neatly cut the cake in five equal slices with a pear in each slices’s center. Lift each slice and reconstruct the cake on a serving dish.
~ Bon Appétit! ~
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?