Cardamom Pear Cake
So! Five pears down, 500 left to go. I no longer need to steal the pears out of my parents’ back yard, they have started foisting them on us. This pleases me immensely, as you can well imagine, because I DO really enjoy free produce in whatever form it takes. I also really enjoy having ridiculous amounts of canned goods, like pear chutney, just in case of the apocalypse or another such catacylsmic event whereby my 15 canning jars will save us from starvation and scurvy….at least for a week or two.
Anyway, I love cardamom and I love pears. That was more than enough inspiration for me to make a coffee cake with those two ingredients playing front and center. It’s a wonderfully moist cake and just perfect with a cup of Earl Grey…or coffee, since it wouldn’t be much of a coffee cake if you didn’t have coffee. But some people don’t like coffee, and maybe they’re caffeine intolerant, so what’s wrong with tea? I like tea. We should all drink more tea.
I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly event Weekend Herb Blogging, which was founded at Kalyn’s Kitchen. This week it is being hosted by Laurie Constantino of Mediterranean Cooking In Alaska, so why not pop over there and see what other people are offering in the world of herbs and interesting produce?
Cardamom Pear Cake
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 large firm Bosc pears
- 3 cups + 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup salted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
Combine the brown sugar, 3 tbsp of flour, cardamom and cocoa in a medium bowl
Chop the pears up into a small dice, approximately 1/4 inch.
Combine the pears with the sugar laden, cocoay, cardamomish mixture.
Alright, now let’s get down to business. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar. This step is always my downfall, without fail. As humiliating as this is, I am the shame-faced adult who can’t seem to stop herself from eating the creamed butter and sugar. I know, I KNOW. Yes, that’s horrifyingly unhealthy and frankly, rather gross. But…but I can’t help myself. I’m drawn to it. I’m like a sugary butter addict. It’s a problem, I know, but one that I’m trying to overcome over time.
And by ‘time’ I mean, ‘another time’. Right before I took the picture I snaked a finger around the rim of the bowl and had a taste. And I wonder why I have a weight problem. Sigh.
Crack the eggs in one at a time, mixing after each one to make sure that they are completely incorporated.
Continue mixing and add the rest of the wet ingredients, namely the yoghurt and vanilla extract. Okay, so technically I could have said ‘both’ of the wet ingredients instead of ‘the rest’, but we both knew where this was going, right?
Finally, sift together the flour and the baking powder. I will openly admit that this is a case of ‘do as I say and not as I do’ because I absolutely didn’t do that. It’s a weeknight. I have priorities. Sifting things is for the weekend and malingering sick days that you don’t actually need to take but you feel like watching tv in your pajamas and baking. Not that I would know.
Add the carefully sifted flour (ha!) a cup at a time into the wet mixture, and continue mixing as you go. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of that darn bowl.
As soon as everything is combined you can stop. No need to overmix things in this kitchen! Also, this is a very moist cake and you don’t want to make it any denser than it needs to be. The batter will be rather thick.
Add about 1/3 of the pears to the batter.
Gently fold the pears into the thick batter, and spread 1/2 of it into the bottom of your prepared pan.
Evenly coat this with the rest of the pears.
Glop the rest of the batter on top and smooth it out. Then, using a butter knife or a strong skewer, cut a zig-zag motion throughout the cake.
Smooth out the top again, and it’s ready to go in the oven.
Let the cake cook for approximately 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cake rest for 5 minutes before unmolding it and allowing it to cool on a wire rack. And, as you can see, I had a slightly heavy hand when flouring the pan. Oh well, it all goes to the same place anyway.
When it cools, this is a delightful treat for some afternoon visitors, served with a cup of hot coffee…or tea. Now isn’t this just so very civilized.
Remember, pinkies up before you take a bite.
Uh huh-huh, well I dare say, dear chap. This tea time is simply delightful! Now be a dove, dear heart, and go pour me another cuppa….