When the north wind blows, and the early spring rains come, I am glad to stay inside and daydream - about future adventures and those in the past. Even now, when it is warm and sunny, I love reminiscing about our travels.
We spent two nights each in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Portland, with a wonderful overnight on the train between L.A. and Portland.
When we got to Seattle, we were met by fellow Tucsonans Connie and Barb and, together, we hopped on a ferry to Bainbridge Island. After three nights there with friends Yvonne and Allan, we spent our final days in Seattle before coming home.
We visited with lots of our friends along the way, and hosted them for meals in our rented apartments - creating new recipes with ingredients we were able to get in local grocery stores, or at big markets, such as the Pikes Place Market in Seattle.
Highlights included a Moroccan vegetable tagine, Cajun shrimp risotto, and seared scallops with pancetta on a bed of fresh, creamed corn. All of them have become regulars in my repertoire.
I intend to share these with you in the future but today, I recreated the pear cake with rosemary that Barbara and I concocted on Bainbridge Island one afternoon, as part of a dinner we made for our hosts.
Yvonne and Allan have a red Bartlett pear tree that had borne some beautiful ripe fruit. A favorite apple cake recipe got tweaked, and the result was gorgeous. And tasty.
This is the kind of cake that works beautifully for dessert or for breakfast. It isn't too sweet, and the flavor combination of pears and rosemary is just wonderful.
I hope you enjoy some of these photos of our adventure.
Pear and Rosemary Cake
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 large red Bartlett pears
1/4 cup milk
1 scant cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 3/8-inch dice
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Liberally butter a 9-inch cake pan and line with a round of parchment. Butter the parchment and then sprinkle with the brown sugar.
Using a mandoline (or a very sharp knife), slice one of the pears in 1/8-inch slices from top to bottom. Overlapping them as shown in the photo, place the slices on top of brown sugar to line the bottom of the pan.
Beat together the eggs and milk. Add sugar and beat until combined. Add flour, rosemary, and baking powder; mix well with a spoon or spatula.
Peel and core remaining pears. Cut the pear into 3/4-inch dice. Add the pears to the batter and pour into the prepared pan. Dot with butter.
Bake for 45 minutes, remove from the oven and cool on a rack. After 10 minutes, invert onto a platter and very carefully remove the parchment so as not to pull off the pear slices. Serve warm, or at room temperature.