Pears are definitely a dime a dozen in Dubai at the moment so when I had family over for dinner last week, I knew I wanted to make a pear based dessert. Off I went to look through my favourites and found not one but two recipes featuring pears. Since I loved the topping of one and the filling of the other, I combined the two to come up with this striking pear and almond cake. Pears and almonds just have a natural affinity to one another eh........
This souffle type cake is great as it can be prepared in advance and served cold but if you prefer a hot dessert, go ahead and serve it straight out of the oven. The texture is best descibed by Tartelette as part cake, part custard and part souffle. The cake can also be made gluten free by substituting all purpose flour with sorghum flour.
This will store well in the fridge covered for up to several days. I only had two slices left but I felt it somehow tasted even better the next day- almost as though the almond flavour had intensified, the fruit was chewier and the cake denser!
This cake is great for a cold winter night- there's just something about apples and pears that make you feel all warm and fuzzy don't you think? We served this cold with a drizzle of custard, although you can also serve with a dollop of cream.
Pear and Almond Cake
2 Anjou pears (peeled cored and sliced)
1/4 cup sugar
4 tbs water
3 tbs butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Centigrade. Grease and flour an 8 inch pan. Arrange pear slices in a uniform fashion at the bottom of your cake pan. Heat sugar and water in a saucepan without stirring. You can swirl the pan to aid in mixing until a light amber color is achieved. Don't overcaramelise as this will make the topping hard and bitter. Pour this topping evenly over pears.
Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer and at medium speed, beat the sugar and butter until light and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl when needed. Reduce the speed to low and add the rest of the ingredients. Pour batter over the pears and bake for approximately 30 minutes. The skewer will come out almost clean when done.
Let the cake stand for 5- 10 minutes on a rack and say a prayer before turning it out. This recipe will serve 12 people.