I was sitting on my den floor. Small recipe books were scattered all around. My mission was to find a recipe I thought was in one of those books. It was one I recalled seeing decades ago. It was back when I worked for a food broker and we would often get recipe books by the manufacturers we represented. I miss that and getting all the fun promotional items too. Anyway, as I looked through my collection I discovered two recipes to try. One was Liptauer Cheese Spread and the other is Pear Almond Cake.
The photo of the cake is what caught my attention. Then I remembered all the pears I needed to use. My fridge contained a collection of food that was nearing the end of shelf life. The more I looked at the recipe the more I was hooked on giving it a go. What resulted is a moist, single layer cake sweetened with brown sugar and full of pears and almonds. Brown sugar gives it a more subtle sweetness and a certain richness. Cinnamon and nutmeg compliment the pears. It has a simple garnish of confectioners sugar with a pretty design from using a doily.
The cakes can be frozen for later use. Wrap them up in freezer paper, foil, or a few layers of plastic wrap. It’s something to have on hand that you can take out when you need a dessert and too busy to bake one. Once thawed at room temperature, all you have to do is garnish, slice, serve, and enjoy.
- 1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1½ cups chopped fresh pears
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- Confectioners sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Note: you can also line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper for easier release.
- Whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
- Cream butter and brown sugar in a large bowl using a hand mixer on high speed.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add vanilla and beat to combine.
- Add flour and beat on low speed until just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Stir in pears and almonds.
- Divide and spread batter evenly into prepared cake pans.
- Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool cakes in the pans for 10 minutes.
- Turn out cakes onto wire racks and cool completely.
- Dust tops of cakes with confectioners sugar. For a lace design, place a paper doily on each cake before dusting. Carefully remove doily after dusting.
Recipe adapted from one in the Best Recipes Rich & Gooey Dessert Sensations cookbook (Volume 1, October 1994, Number 44 edition).