Hmmm.. a Monday morning in mid-December and like everyone else I had masses of things I should have been doing. But I got distracted (butterfly brain, me) by this French Pear Cake..
As I read the recipe – on a website called Pardon My French – I was doing a mental tally in my head:
Pears, yep, got them.
Vanilla – huh – eyeroll.
Eggs, flour etc. All present and correct.
I even had the right sized cake tin. I mean come ON. It would be rude not to…
Also – I’m whispering this bit – I just happened to have a handful of cranberries left over from the massive, massive success of the Pear, Cranberry and Ginger crumble last week. http://eatingforireland.com/recipe/pear-cranberry-and-ginger-biscuit-crumble/ – don’t tell me you haven’t tried it?
What better way to use them up?
This cake is really light and has a wonderful buttery taste. We liked it very much. Mine didn’t rise as much as I would have expected, but it definitely wasn’t fallen. Personally I liked it slightly warm, about 45 minutes after it came out of the oven. Mr Saturday Night was happy to give it 20 seconds in the microwave several hours later and declared that it was excellent!
- An electric beater with bowl
- A smallish bowl/saucepan to melt the butter in.
- An 8-inch or 9-inch (20-23cm) spring-release baking tin, base lined with baking parchment, and the sides buttered.
- A sieve, sitting over ↓
- a medium -sized bowl
- A spatula
- 125g unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 150g Golden Caster sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp /45ml cold Milk
- 125g Plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 large firm pears – not too ripe! About 200g
- A handful of fresh Cranberries – fresh, not frozen (optional)
- 2 dessertspoons of Demerara, for sprinkling
- Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
- Preheat your oven to 160Fan, put a rack in the middle.
- Line your baking tin with parchment paper at the bottom and grease the sides with butter.
- Peel and core the pears, then dice them into 1/2-inch (1.25cm) pieces.
- In the mixer bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and a ribbon forms from the whisk – usually about 5 (noisy) minutes with my elderly Kenwood.
- Whisk in the Vanilla and milk.
- Sift together the Plain flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Remove the bowl from the beater.
- Add in half of the flour mixture, fold in gently.
- Fold in half of the melted butter.
- Add in the remaining flour mixture, then the last of the butter.
- Fold in the pears (and a decent handful of Cranberries, if using) and mix until they are evenly coated with the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth the top a little bit.
- Sprinkle 2 dessertspoons of Demerara sugar evenly on top of the batter. See NOTES
- Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes and remove it carefully from the pan. Enjoy warm or cool, served with crème fraiche.
- I didn’t use anything like the quantity of Cranberries pictured – I’d say 2 good handfuls would be plenty.
- The original recipe called for Almond Extract, as everyone knows that Pear and Almond are magical together. As we’re a nut-free household I used Vanilla Extract, because Pear and Vanilla are also magical together! Naturally, use the Almond extract if you like it.
- This cake has a strange consistency – the batter looks slightly curdled when you pour it into the tin, but never fear, it will be fine!
- The cake is a little fragile when it first comes out of the oven, so be sure to give it at least 15 minutes sitting before carefully removing the tin.