In a cookbook around here somewhere is a recipe for an Italian Pear Cake. I adapted it to create the Northwest Pear Cake by substituting dried cranberries for currants and almonds for pine nuts. The result is something far more understandable for us polar fleeced sukkah dwellers. It is a lovely, dense, pear laden treat. Perfect with tea, there is a tidbit of pear in every bite.
Ripe pears are a must. I buy them as ripe as possible and groom them to perfection. Too green and they sit in a brown paper bag for a few days. I usually use Bartlett pears and watch the pale yellow color develop. Blushes of red create the perfect still life. I'm very protective of my fruit and handle them gently.
This cake is simple to make and can be made in many forms; tube pans, bundt pans, cake pans and loaves. I'm going to cut the recipe down to make about 6 pounds of batter, enough for a 10' tube pan, or 2 x 7" tube pans. It will make 3 x 8" loaves. So, if you want to make less, cut the recipe in half. Or, make the entire batch and freeze some for another day.
|Number of servings:||16 - 20|
|Skill Level:||1 - Easy (1 Easy - 5 Hard)|
|Estimated POINT value:|
- 1/2 pound margarine (or butter if dairy)
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup soy milk (or milk if dairy)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 pounds ripe pears, peel and diced
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries, moistened
- 3/4 cup whole almonds
For the glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons soy milk (or milk if dairy)
- 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
In the bowl of mixer, cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time and beat until incorporated after each addition.
Add the soy milk, vanilla and almond extracts. Blend until combined.
Combine the dry ingredients and whisk. Add to the mixing bowl and blend on low to combine.
Prep the pears by peeling and dicing. Sprinkle a little lemon juice on them to prevent browning. Add the pears, cranberries and almonds to the mixture. Mix just until blended.
Spray the cake pans avoiding spraying the sides. Fill the cake pans.
Bake at 325' until golden brown. The cake should spring back when gently pressed. Cool for at least 1/2 hour before removing from the pan.
Make the glaze by adding soy milk to powdered sugar to create a consistency that can be drizzled. Sprinkle with toasted and cooled sliced almonds.
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Northwest Pear Cake
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