This is a unique cake, buttery melt in your mouth sweetness with fruits that celebrate Tu B'shevat. Marzipan is mixed into the batter adding almond flavor without a nut crunch. I've folded dried dates, apricots, figs and pomegranate infused cranberries along with the fresh pears. Freshly squeezed orange juice contributes to the 'mitvah in your mouth' celebration. It is a sweet cake so serve slices that are only 2 inches or so. Yes, you can have too much of a good thing.
|Number of servings:||16 - 24|
|Skill Level:||1 - Easy (1 Easy - 5 Hard)|
|Estimated POINT value:|
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup marzipan (I used canned)
- zest of 2 large oranges
- 4 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup diced dates (I bought these packaged)
- 1/2 cup sliced dried apricots
- 1/3 cup sliced dried figs
- 1/3 cup pomegranate infused dried cranberries
- 3 cups ripe pears, diced (about 3 - 4 large)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup orange juice or enough to make a smooth, fluid glaze
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Slice the figs and set aside.
Zest and juice the oranges; set aside.
Assemble the remaining ingredients; set aside.
Put the sugar, marzipan and orange zest into the bowl of the mixer.
Beat until crumbly and even in texture.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add 1/4th the flour and beat at medium speed until blended. Mix the orange juice with the melted butter. Add 1/3rd of the liquid and mix until blended. Repeat until the ingredients are used.
Once the flour and liquids have been added, beat the batter for an additional minute until light and creamy.
Add the dried fruits and diced pears. Stir by hand.
Using a 10 inch tube pan, spray the tube section with cooking spray. Pour or scoop the batter into the pan. When all the batter is in the pan, take a narrow knife and drag it through the cake to take out any air bubbles.
Bake at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes or until the cake springs back when gently pressed. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a wire rack at least 10 minutes.
After the cake has set, remove it carefully from the pan and transfer to the cake plate. Cut 3 inch strips of wax or parchment paper and slip them under the cake around the edge. Combine the powdered sugar and orange juice with a whisk to make the glaze. It should be a spreadable consistency. Apply to cake.
Sprinkle with toasted sliced almonds. Remove the wax paper carefully and discard. Decorate the cake plate with dried fruits and clusters of grapes.
Serve the pear cake but remember it is rich; a little goes a long way!
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Tu B'shevat Marzipan Pear Cake
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