Cake of the Week: Pear Almond Torte
This week’s cake came from an overabundance of pears. It happens to us all from time to time. We go to the store. We need some fruit, so we buy some. Maybe more than we need because it is cheaper to buy the three pound bags of fruit than it is to pay the select your own price. However, life is busy and we bought other fruit at the store, too. This always results in a few pieces hanging around that we need to “do something with” before they go bad, but no one is willing to do the obvious and just eat them. This must be how cobblers and crisps got their start. Another alternative is to make this cake.
This is a super easy cake. If your butter is fairly soft (like mine was not because it is winter and room temperature butter is cold here), you can even mix this cake up without turning on your mixer. I did not bother to peel the pears since I had bartletts and they are thin skinned. If you have pears with thicker skin, I would recommend peeling. Also, other fruits would be good here. The original recipe called for purple prune plums, but cherries would be good as well as peaches.
Ours was gone so fast that I did not have a chance to get a photo of a single slice for you. You’ll just have to make one for yourself to see it.
PEAR ALMOND TORTE
adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook
1 cup (5 ounces) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar plus 1 additional Tablespoon for topping
1 Tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3-4 ripe pears, cored and sliced into 1/2 inch wedges
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a handful of sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.
- Cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and then add the eggs and almond extract.
- Spread the batter in the pan evenly.
- Arrange the pears on tope of the batter in concentric circles. Push them into the batter a little.
- Sprinkle the lemon juice, cinnamon, and almonds over the top of the cake.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack. Then unmold and enjoy with tea or coffee.