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'