The following post is brought to you by happy kitchen serendipity. Starting with my neighbor, Eliza, who had a bumper crop of pears this year. Our hot, dry summer delivered an early harvest of sweet, juicy pears. If you need a second opinion, feel free to ask the neighborhood children who plucked pears from the bottom branches for eating out of hand.
I made a Gingered Pear and Peach Jam (recipe soon) and a pear cake so delightful that I can’t wait to make it again with apples. Where is the serendipity you ask? After consulting a few baking books in my library, I could not find the right recipe. I found plenty of delicious sounding recipes but they were fussy and I wasn’t feeling fussy.
While catching up on some blog reading, Molly’s post about leeks offered a coy link to Clotilde’s blog and the most perfect pear cake (compliments of Clotilde’s grandmother’s friend, Ella). Three kitchens in completely different corners of the world (Maine, Washington state and France) all nibbling on the same cake. Isn’t the blogosphere great?
With no mixer required and simple pantry ingredients, I knew I had a winner on my hands before I pre-heated the oven. As Clotilde predicted, this cake did not last long. It was lovely with tea in the afternoon and outstanding with coffee for breakfast. Eliza shared a slice with me. Mimi never even got a taste (sorry Mimi).
Simple Pear Cake from Chocolate and Zucchini
One bite and you’ll easily imagine yourself in France enjoying “Le Goutier.” My metric conversions may not be exact but they worked just fine.
6 small pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1 stick plus 1 Tbsp. butter, melted plus a bit more for greasing the pan
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with butter. Place pears into pan.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together. Add baking powder, flour, salt and stir until evenly blended. Stir in the butter until smooth. Pour batter over pears and spread if necessary to even it out.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, the top will be golden and a cake tester will come out clean. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes and then invert onto a cooling rack and then again onto a plate (the fruit should be on the bottom).
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Chocolate and Zucchini marked its 7th anniversary today! Congratulations!