I was in the supermarket the other day and almost everyone in the counter had a kilo of pears with them. I wasn’t thinking of buying them myself, but you know how it is when you just want to be with the crowd…?
I ended up buying two kilos. Turned out that there were tons of them from the Netherlands and they were on sale!? (Yep, confession time: I do that too!) I’m still not sure what to do with ALL these pears, but I knew I wanted to make a no-fuss cake. Pear and Almond Cake is the one that came to mind.
I love this cake because it is not too sweet, even with the icing sugar on top. It’s perfect with coffee or tea, and a scoop of ice cream as snack. It is better to eat on the day it was made, but admittedly, I still left a couple of slices in the refrigerator and heated them up for breakfast the following day – still very good. The pears were not mushy at all.
One thing that might put some people off is the use of ground almonds. I am not sure if one can use almond meal, but not almond flour. Almond flour is too fine in texture. What I always do is put the almonds in the food processor directly. Nope, I don’t even blanch them. I just do around 5 to 7 pulses and keep a close watch on them. We wouldn’t want to process them too much, because they will start releasing their oils and the whole thing will turn into a paste. We want them coarse, so it provides a slight contrast in texture with the firmness and smoothness of the pear in every bite.
So, now that a kilo of pears is gone, what will I do with the rest…? 😉
- 125 grams unsalted butter room temperature
- 125 grams white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 50 grams all-purpose flour
- 100 grams ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 4 small (or 3 medium) pears peeled, cored and cut into halves
- 50 grams flaked (or sliced) almonds
- icing sugar (for serving)
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F).
Grease an 8-inch baking pan and line the bottom with a baking paper.
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well in between adding them.
Fold flour, ground almonds and baking powder into the butter and egg mixture.
Spoon mixture in the lined-baking pan and make the top even by using a spatula. The mixture is a bit thick, hence transferring with a spoon is more effective than just pouring it.
Arrange the halved pears on top of the mixture.
- Cook in the oven for 25 minutes
Remove from the oven and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top. Put back in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
Once the cake is cold and ready for serving, sprinkle icing sugar on top.
- If fresh pears are not available, canned ones can be used, but make sure they’ve been properly drained.
- Adapted from 'Seasons and Suppers'
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