Monday, October 13, 2008
Comfort Food: Pear Cake
My daughter's Italian boyfriend calls this Torta di Pera, and we call it Pear Cake. He loves American Food.(The only thing we made that he didn't like was Yorkshire Pudding, but hey - that's English!) He eats American Desserts with enthusiasm, especially the warm fruity ones. I had some ripe pears in my bowl, so I made one today for our dessert. It's very easy to make and I think you'll like it too.
Pear Cake ( adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine Raspberry Peach Cake, Sept 2006)
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9x2 inch round cake pan
1 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
In mixing bowl or food processor, mix
6 tablespoons butter ( I have used salted and unsalted and no one can tell the difference)
1 cup granulated sugar ( I have also used 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla ( I make my own, see below)
2/3 cup plain yogurt ( you could also use sour cream or buttermilk, they are interchangeable)
2 sliced ripe pears
Mix the butter and sugar, add eggs, vanilla and yogurt. Sometimes I add a little lemon brandy too (see below), add flour mixture. Scrape into cake pan. Top with the sliced pears. I make a pinwheel design and sprinkle everything with cinnamon sugar.
Bake about 40-45 minutes, until tester comes out clean
Eat with ice cream, or as my family does, in a bowl with milk.
I make this to add as a flavoring
Take a clean half pint jar, and next time you need to squeeze a lemon, peel the zest off, beat it up a little and place it in the jar. About two lemons worth is good. Cover the lemon peels with brandy. Steep for a month and use in yellow cake, gingerbread and other baked goods that would like being flavored with lemon brandy. I also use it to sprinkle on apples for apple pie or apple crisp.
I don't need to tell you how to make cinnamon sugar, do I? I keep a jar of this on my counter next to the coffee pot. When my kids were small they insisted on cinnamon toast so often I just made it by the batch, and we always have some one hand. I make mine with Penzey's Vietnamese cinnamon. Treat yourself and get some, it's wonderful.