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Tried the pear cake posted below

Spencer Dec 13, 2004 11:08 PM

Tried the pear cake posted below. It was evry good. I made some pear honey and drizzled over the top. It was a big hit with my kids. I wonder how it would be with blackberries?
Mine was done at about 40 minutes, rather than the hour posted in the recipe. My oven cooks a little fast.

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  1. e
    edinaeats RE: Spencer Dec 14, 2004 09:19 AM

    I made it this past weekend too. Also took 40 minutes and we loved it.

    I used drained, canned pears- worked fine.

    1. k
      kc girl RE: Spencer Dec 14, 2004 02:07 PM

      I made it in the available oven - the toaster oven! Since it's not the best temp control, one side of the top burned a little after 30 minutes.

      Fix? I took it out, cut the burned part off, levelled it out a little with the knife, sprinkled on some brown sugar, patted it on, covered it with tin foil, baked another 25 minutes.

      It still tasted and looked delicious.

      6 Replies
      1. re: kc girl
        Tatania RE: kc girl Dec 14, 2004 04:37 PM

        Safe, then, to assume Galleygirl's oven is cool, which means her results are based on a bake time and temp longer and lower than what the rest of us used. What I wonder is whether cooking this (or any other) cake long and low imparts some particular quality.

        1. re: Tatania
          galleygirl RE: Tatania Dec 14, 2004 05:01 PM

          I am definitely going to recalibrate my times, next time I make this...My gas oven is 50 years old, and I have recently purchased a thermometer, which tells me that part of the time I was cooking it, the oven wasn't up to temp...BUT, it does get up to temp, and stays there (esp. due to the stone I keep in the oven), so the temp. part isn't wrong. The original recipe *did* call for an hour...I'm gonnah make one this weekend and monitor carefully...The fact is, yes, undercooking seems to milk the pears for all they're worth...;)

          Remember, this is a moist heavy cake, so cooking everything this way might not give the desired result....

          Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com

          1. re: galleygirl
            Caitlin McGrath RE: galleygirl Dec 14, 2004 08:20 PM

            "The fact is, yes, undercooking seems to milk the pears for all they're worth...;)"

            The perhaps the trick is to roast some pears and make the cake using them.

            P.S. I got my 8-inch springform pan today. Pear cake soon.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
              galleygirl RE: Caitlin McGrath Dec 14, 2004 09:48 PM

              No,no, no, you want the juice to leach out into the batter while it cooks, and the cake the next day....:)

              Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com

              1. re: galleygirl
                Caitlin McGrath RE: galleygirl Dec 14, 2004 11:06 PM

                Ah, gotcha.

          2. re: Tatania
            kc girl RE: Tatania Dec 14, 2004 06:26 PM

            Actually, I would say it was caused by the toaster oven, which is never as even or accurate as a regular oven, IMO. Next time, it'll be done in my regular oven. I just thought I'd mention the off result from the toaster oven because it may hapen to someone else, and there is a solution to restore it. In fact, I might just put a brown sugar coating on the top always. It looks great that way.

        2. t
          Tatania RE: Spencer Dec 15, 2004 07:13 AM

          Saw your post about the temp of your oven, Galleygirl, and realized I had to try the cake again last night -- purely in the interests of science, of course.

          So. Started at 300f, no convection. After about 8 min, raised the temp to 350f, no convection. It did take a little under an hour, so I'm considering that mystery solved. The consistency was lovely. It was nice and moist, but the top was golden. A steady 300 might have left it moist, but pale. I'll be interested if you see any lessening of the moistness, Galleygirl, when you make it with a steady 350f.

          The other question settled is whether fresh pears make a difference. Answer: heck yeah. The TJ jarred pears are a really nice product; thought that once cooked, they'd be indistinguishable from fresh. The fresh pears, though, retain their spiciness and slight granularity. Not sure why I've been seized by this scientific impulse, but there you go.

          What a good recipe. I'll be trying the plum version someone else mentioned, too. Thank you so much!

          And KC Girl - bet that brown sugar layer was great.

          Wonder if it would work to sprinkle with brown sugar for the last 3-5 min of cooking to make a decorative topping? I used powdered sugar, which was pretty but blah.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Tatania
            Smokey RE: Tatania Dec 15, 2004 07:40 AM


            I'm impressed by your dedication to science. Thank you for repeating the experiment with slight modifications so we can identify the variables that lead to the best outcome!

            With all of these posts on the recipe, I've decided I absolutely must try this recipe!

            1. re: Smokey
              Tatania RE: Smokey Dec 15, 2004 08:00 AM

              Smokey - Thanks, but it's actually a dedication to dessert!

              1. re: Smokey
                kc girl RE: Smokey Dec 15, 2004 04:27 PM

                I hope to try it as well in a 9" springform pan.

                Etude of Galleygirl's friend's Peart Tart/Cake

                9" springform pan

                4 ripe juicy pears
                Peel, core, and cut into eighths

                1 stick plus 1 TBSP butter (9 TBSP)
                3/4 C. plus 1/8 C. brown sugar
                1-1/2 tsp powdered vanilla or 1 tsp vanilla
                2 Jumbo eggs, one at a time

                1-1/8 C flour (finely ground oatmeal flour okay)
                1-1/8 tsp baking powder
                rounded tsp salt
                Add to butter mixture

                Spray a 9" (important) spring form pan with oil (TJ spray okay or Pam)
                Spread the batter in it.
                Now, in a pinwheel pattern, press the slices of pear, peeled side up, into the batter. Cram in as many as you can with top of pear in center; (since the batter rises and covers the pears, there's no points given for style here(g)
                Suggestion: the more pears, the moister the cake will be.
                Bake at 350 degrees (about an hour) ‘til a wooden skewer comes out clean
                Note: If you have any doubts, UNDERBAKE. . . .* This is a whole different animal if it dries out....Then it's just a cake; correctly done, you'll love it...It's just one of those recipes that is greater than the sum of it's parts. {Really. Ask Galleygirl’s Dad @}

              2. re: Tatania
                Pat Hammond RE: Tatania Dec 15, 2004 08:16 AM

                I'm planning on making the pear cake for Christmas Eve. I've duly noted your baking adjustments and plan to sprinkle with some brown sugar near the end of baking. I have a box of "brownulated sugar" that I bought by accident. It pours like regular white cane sugar, but is light brown. I think it'll do nicely.

                1. re: Tatania
                  kc girl RE: Tatania Dec 15, 2004 08:37 AM

                  Re: Brown sugar topping: If you're referring to a somewhat doily kind of decorative top with the sugar, brown sugar is not known for that and it would probably work if the top is completley flat to begin with and it melts without effect. Otherwise you will have a Dali or perhaps an op art mystery because of the inherent moistness of both the cake and sugar.

                  1. re: Tatania
                    galleygirl RE: Tatania Dec 15, 2004 09:06 AM

                    FWIW, the original called for sprinkling with white sugar before baking, but I've forgotten so often, I've given up....

                    Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com

                    1. re: galleygirl
                      galleygirl RE: galleygirl Dec 15, 2004 09:34 AM

                      And, of course, I bow to your continued thirst for scientific inquiry...(vbg!)

                      Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com

                      1. re: galleygirl
                        kc girl RE: galleygirl Dec 15, 2004 10:38 AM

                        And, yet I feel so completely willing to shelf my current project ** to try to increase the ingredients enough to accommodate the 9" for/with the 8" springform pan.

                        See, http://www.chowhound.com/boards/cooki...

                        ** Dave does not know that Alvin, Theodore, and Simon know how to sing the "Across the Universe" and I think he should. The Chipmunks rock! Hear midi below.

                        Link: http://www.wvi.com/~gcliving/atu/

                        1. re: kc girl
                          Tatania RE: kc girl Dec 15, 2004 02:09 PM

                          Yes, this vital research MUST continue.

                          1. re: Tatania
                            Smokey RE: Tatania Dec 15, 2004 03:13 PM

                            Tatiana--Don't stop your own productive work in this area! As a senior investigator in this area, you clearly have a lot to teach all of us! Smokey

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