Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pear Cake

It's not very often a recipe can make me say wow. Sure I ooh and ahh over the various sweets I eat, a lot of recipes will get a happy food dance, and some will get moans of pleasure, but few recipes elicit an actual wow. This is one of those recipes.

I got the recipe out of my Southern Cakes book and I overlooked it pretty much every time I saw it. A couple of times I glanced through the ingredients thinking that I should consider it one day, but I never really took it seriously. Instead, I moved on to other recipes in the book -- the ones I had marked with sticky notes -- and ignored this one.

And then I saw this post on Bake or Break. I don't even remember how I got to the blog, or how I stumbled on that particular post, but I did, and I read it, and I was intrigued because they loved this cake. Even after that post though I didn't run right out and buy pears. Instead I tucked the information away somewhere and moved on with my life.

Then last week while I was at the grocery store none of really great seasonal fruit was stocked. In fact, the only fruit that looked halfway decent at the time was the pears. I like having fresh fruit on hand for snacking so I bought some knowing that if we didn't get around to eating them, I could make this cake. Man I'm smart. :)

Everything that Bake or Break said about this recipe is spot on. It tastes great. It has a light fruity flavor that you can't quite identify that matches with the cinnamon goodness of this cake perfectly. It's easy and quick to mix up and bakes up moist and nutty and wonderful. Do yourselves a favor and give this one a try, believe me, you'll thank yourself for it.

It was only after I typed the recipe that I realized I made a couple of mistakes -- first I only used a tsp of cinnamon instead of a tablespoon, and then I didn't peel the pears like the recipe says. Oh well, guess I'll have to make it again. Darn.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3 eggs lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
2 cups peeled and finely grated ripe but firm pears
2 tsps vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a bundt pan.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Mix butter, eggs, sugar, pears and vanilla in a smaller bowl until well blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold until the flour disappears. Gently fold in the nuts.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and even it out. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes until it is browned and a skewer comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes before turning out to cool completely.


burkie said...

you're evil! i said tempt me and challenge me not to eat anymore of your baked goods, but you're going for the freakin' jugular! cold-hearted....biscuit pusher!

burkie said...

okay, i succumbed and sampled a nearly transparent slice--i mean, it's "pear" and, according to Bake or Break, it's a bread, not a cake. and the nuts have "good fat."'s damn good. but i'm happy for anything pear-y. to me, pears are the most difficult fruit to judge. when they're good, pears are right up there with the best fruits on earth. but when they're bad, pears are the worst fruit on earth (excepting the dreaded star fruit, which is the most worthless fruit in history). so kudos to the wonderful pear bread :)

Marie said...

Pears are one of my favourite fruits. I shall have to give this delicious looking cake a try in the very near future!

giz said...

Ok, ok ... you talked me into it - I can't stand being tempted and not being able to have what I want so now I'll just make it myself. The cake looks delicious and so easy to put together.