Gourmet Spotlight: Spiced Pear Cake
September 15, 2009
If it happens to me, I know it must happen to you too. You’re sitting there minding your own business when all of a sudden you are hit with an overwhelming feeling.
Must. Have. Cake. Now.
Are you familiar with this phenomenon? The sudden urge to bake something moist and delicious? And then shovel a big slice down the hatch? Oh, ahem. How unladylike of me. Let me rephrase. Delicately take small bites with your pinkie in the air.
In my region, we were hit with some unexpected rain over the weekend. It must have been that smell of the first rain mixed together with the wind blowing the first leaves from the trees that caused something to click inside of me. I just had to make my oh-so-autumn Spiced Pear Cake. And I had to make it now.
I take some of these pretty little Bartletts and transform them into the most moist and delicious flavor of fall.
My spiced pear cake has a little of everything. A glazed fruit topping, a down home ingredient like molasses, and the spices often found in the best fall comfort food. What’s my secret ingredient to guarantee a moist cake?
Want the recipe?
Well then get yourself a bundle of these ripe n’ ready to be baked Bartlett pears.
Then hurry on down to your local grocery store for these ingredients.
Autumn Spiced Pear Cake
1/4 cup butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled & sliced thin
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 rounded tsp ginger*
1 rounded tsp cinnamon*
1/2 tsp allspice*
1/2 tsp nutmeg*
*or substitute 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup half & half (or milk)
1/3 cup applesauce
1 peeled & thinly diced Bartlett pear
Prepping the glazed fruit topping:
Lightly butter or use cooking spray to grease your 9 inch cheesecake pan. If yours has a dimpled bottom like mine, you can add one or two pieces of parchment paper to the bottom to avoid a dimpled pear top. Make thin slices with your 1/4 cup of cold butter, and layer on the bottom of your pan. Sprinkle with a mixture of 1 tbsp brown sugar and 3/4 tsp cinnamon.
Layer with thin slices from 2 Bartlett pears.
For the cake:
Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in bowl. In second bowl, mix 1/2 cup softened butter, brown sugar, eggs, molasses, applesauce, and half & half in that order. Mix flour mixture in thirds into moist egg & sugar mixture with hand mixer until blended. Once blended, add diced pear and gently fold in with spatula. Pour cake mixture over layered pears in cheesecake pan.
Bake at 350° in regular oven for first 20 minutes, then lower to 325° for 35 more minutes (total 55 minutes). It should be done, continue to check every 5 minutes until pierced knife comes out clean. Baking tip: A cheesecake pan with a removable side can leak some of the butter from the topping. Place a cookie sheet on the rack underneath your cake pan to catch any drippings and avoid having to clean your oven.
Allow cake to cool for 30 minutes. Carefully remove from pan and turn upside down onto cake plate. Peel off parchment paper.
You’ll love this glazed pear upside-down style spiced cake for its delicate and delicious soft pear topping, and for its flavorful center. It will remind you of fall, with its amazing combination of allspice, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
I can only keep mine on a cake plate for about 24 hours, because it just disappears so quickly.
You can sift with confectioner’s sugar. Or serve it up with vanilla ice cream. I like to dollop fresh whipping cream on top.
I make spiced cider for my kids, and tea for me, and we sit around in the afternoon eating our slice and reading some books.
And then the rain doesn’t bother us at all.