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delicious pear cake

2 sticks, plus 1 T unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/4cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder pinch salt
4 T cream
2-6 pears, depending on size and personal taste

pre-heat oven to 350.

butter a 9-inch pie/cake pan and coat with brown sugar

1. mix butter and sugars and beat until fluffy.

2. add the eggs, one at the time, and stir well. add vanilla.

3. sift the flour and baking powder together, mix some of it onto the batter, then add some of the cream then some of the batter....etc. until all is blended, finishing with wet, but mix as little as possible.

4. smear half of the batter in the pan.

5. peel and core the pears, cut in pieces, and spread out on the batter. pour on the rest of the batter, and add a new layer of pear pieces if you like. just push them a little down into the batter. (i used about 4 very ripe pears and dredged the pieces in cinnamon and ginger before pushing into the batter.)

6. bake between 30-45 minutes, depending on the amount of pears used. (many pears - more moist - more time.) but check after 30 minutes to be sure. ready when a cake tester comes out clean.

this can be made as a loaf too.

the brown sugar caramelizes nicely to give a great crisp to the exterior of the cake and the cake itself just gets better after a day or two. delicious with vanilla ice or whipped cream mixed with a bit of plain yogurt.

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  1. Just copied this recipe to try. What kind of pears did you use?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bethcooks

      +1 - that sounds so good. Pears are just starting to come on here, so I'll have to try it.

      1. re: Bethcooks

        lol, i used an assortment -- they were very ripe and marked down for quick sale at my grocer. i used 4 decent sized ones this time.

      2. Question for you:

        I'm making this in the morning. Do you mix the 1/4 brown sugar into the batter? Or is that the amount you use to coat the pan? I ask because the recipe says to mix the butter and sugars (plural).

        Hoping you will see this and let me know.

        If I don't hear, I'm going to assume that the 1/4 cup brown sugar is to be used to coat the pan. Because a cup of sugar seems like enough to me.

        Thanks much!

        1 Reply
        1. re: karykat

          the brown sugar coating on the pan was not included in the measure of the other sugars that i beat with the butter.

          at first i thought 1.25 cups of sugar sounded like a lot too, but the cake came out great and not overly sweet. the .25 cups of brown sugar was not tightly packed.

        2. Very nice, like the brown sugar coating step. Thanks for posting. I'll give it a go, love pears.

          1. Very delicious sounding recipe! I love pears too. Do you think that they have to be that ripe?

            3 Replies
            1. re: roxlet

              pears have a relatively delicate flavor, so even though they cook down easily, i think riper ones present a better flavor in the finished cake.

              have been on a pear kick lately! yesterday took the big crumb coffee cake from smittenkitchen and used pear instead of rhubarb. wow, is it good! added almond extract to the topping though and also a squirt of lemon to the pears and each brought it to a whole other dimension.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                That sounds delicious as well! I grew up with a Seckel pear tree in the backyard, and we had pear everything in season, so pear is a very nostalgic taste for me. One of my favorite perfumes (Petite Cherie) has a distinct pear note too. Love pears!

                1. re: roxlet

                  i love them as well, although commercial varieties now just taste sugary, with little nuance, that's why i guess i've finally switched to baking them instead of eating them raw. lol, my friends and neighbors are thrilled too since i'm baking far more than my b/f and i can (or should) eat.

            2. My cake turned out great. Thanks hotoy for a very good recipe.

              I used three pears (pretty big ones). Thought that if my batter was too wet with pears that it might take longer to bake so the caramel might burn. Not sure if that was a real worry or not. Anyway, I had a good amount of pears.

              The pear that you put on top and press into the batter sink as the cake is baking.

              My pears were not all that ripe. (Thought again that the dough might be too wet if they were real ripe. Not sure that was a real worry either. The pear in the baked cake was firm but not in a bad way. Pears could have been riper.

              When I was putting the sugar on the pan, my brown sugar wouldn't stick for me. Maybe if I had sieved it it would have stuck better. But it really wouldn't stick at all. I had some turbinado sugar and used that. It worked like a charm. Stuck to the buttered pan very evenly. And the finished cake had this beautiful caramelized crust that smelled and tasted heavenly.

              So I will definitely be making this again. Would probably be good with other fruit too, like apple and cranberries? Peaches in summer?

              Thanks hotoynoodle.

              2 Replies
              1. re: karykat

                am glad you enjoyed it! have been on a baking binge lately for some unknown reason, lol.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  I made this recipe again yesterday for my book club. Fantastic. Really good. I used pears that were more ripe this time and the cake took much longer to bake. For a little while I was worried it wouldn't set up. But it just took longer.

                  Great taste. There were great reviews all around the table. Even from some people who aren't really "dessert people."

                  Next time I might cut the recipe to about 3/4 and bake in an 8 inch pan. Will have to check the math on that.

                  Anyway, there are two pieces left which will be Valentines night dessert for me and my sweetheart tonight.