1.27.2018

Change

Change is hard for many people. It brings upheaval, fear of the unknown, and the need to let go.

Some change is good; some not so good. Today's recipe is a change for the good, or at least I think so. Not that the original recipe was bad; it was definitely good. But I was having one of those days when mixing things up seemed a good idea.

It started with making a German sunken apple cake. I posted a photo of it on Instagram and Facebook, with the question “Should I make this for Cocoa & Lavender?”

The response was overwhelmingly positive so I decided to post it... but with a surprise. A change. Instead of apple, it is a sunken pear cake! And, boy, is it good

For those who are change-averse and want the traditional sunken apple cake, just use apples and leave out the almond extract.

Remember, when going through changes - good or bad - keep these words by Ghandi in mind: “Be the change that you want see in the world.” Among other things, I wanted to see pears.

~ David

Sunken Pear Cake


3 medium pears
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
9 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 to 2 tablespoons demerara (raw) sugar
vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional


Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper; set aside.

Peel, core, and quarter the pears. Thinly slice each quarter lengthwise without cutting all the way through to the core side, leaving the quarter hinged together. Finely grate the zest of the lemon into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set aside; save the lemon half.

Cream the butter and sugar with the lemon zest, occasionally scraping down the sides; add the almond extract and 1 of the eggs. Beat until combined before adding the second egg. Beat until combined and then add the third egg, beating until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture until just combined, then beat in the juice from the reserved lemon half. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and give the batter one last mix by hand.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Gently press the pear quarters into the batter, core-side down, leaving only a bit of space between each quarter. If you have any pear left over, break off slices and insert them into any open space available. Sprinkle the top evenly with the demerara sugar.

Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the cake is golden and a tester inserted into the cake (not pear) comes out clean, 35 to 37 minutes.

Place the pan on a rack to cool for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edge and removing the springform ring. Let cool to room temperature.


Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Serves 8.


40 comments:

  1. This cake is so beautiful, and I'm a sucker for anything with almond extract!

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    1. Me, too, Lois! Almond is one of my favorite flavors!

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  2. Oh, David, I *have* to make this cake! Every year I say, "I really should make something with pears," but never do. This is the one!

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    1. I have been on a real pear jag lately, Jean! I’ve been poaching them, baking with them, and just eating them with cheese for dessert! Love them!

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    1. You will love it, Becky! Great to see you this week!

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  4. I think pears are an underused fruit...glad you made a change.

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    1. I agree, Karen, but can’t figure out why!

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    2. I think it's because it's so hard to find ripe pears in most parts of the country and most people, including myself sometimes, are just to inpatient to wait!

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    3. I suppose people can use that as an excuse, but they are the easiest fruit to ripen in a paper bag!

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  5. I just made a similar cake using canned Morello cherries. Now I have to try it with pears.

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    1. And now I have to make it with Morello cherries, Gerlinde!

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  6. Looks stunning, David! I'm just scared to tell you that...nevermind. Let's just say, I don't like change. I'll take the apple sans almond extract! :)

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    1. You crack me up Christina! You can make it with pears and no almond extract! Or is it the pears, too? :)

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  7. This looks delicious. My mom used to make this with plums. It was always a favorite in our family.

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    1. That sounds great with plums, Peg! I have to try that!

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  8. Looks delicious the only problem might be not eating it all at once.

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    1. Carolyne - I try never to bake a cake unless I know I'll be having company. It takes the pressure off!

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  9. Hmm, I made your saffron-mascarpone tart, which was a hit in this household, so I just may have to make this one. I've been craving cake lately, so once again, perfect timing!

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    1. This is a good choice, John - easy and not too sweet!

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  10. This is beautiful David! And I think we've discussed our mutual appreciation for pears before. Going to pin for fall when I get local pears again!

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    1. We do both love our pears, don't we? I wish the season here was longer but the heat makes it very brief... I have to rely often on store bought pears that come from elsewhere!

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  11. Recipes are suggestions and in the hands of great cooks, like you, are open to wonderful embellishment!
    Bruce Baer

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    1. Very kind of you, Bruce! Thanks, as always, for reading!

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  12. I'm in for either one! Pears, apples, almond -- I love all of it. And this recipe is so pretty!

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    1. It is really pretty, Valentina - I think that is what attracted me in the first place.

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  13. This is such a beautiful cake! I would love a slice right now with an afternoon cup of tea!

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    1. This is a perfect afternoon tea cake, Caroline.

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  14. Change Good. Pears Good. Life is Good! GREG

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  15. Tell me about it... and yes, the tart looks lovely. Love pears.

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    1. Living where you do, change has been your life! Thanks, Frank - I will PM you as I am coming to DC soon and perhaps we can grab a bite together.

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  16. Exquisite! And please forgive me David if I don't pop in as often as I'd like... we're travelling again. x

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    1. Thanks Liz - I appreciate your comments while traveling. I hope you and Peter are having a great time!!

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  17. David, I've never had a sunken apple cake! But, I will be trying your sunken pear cake first! Seriously, this cake looks completely delicious. :)

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    1. Good choice, Marcelle - Pear first, apple second! :)

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  18. I’m so glad you posted this cake, I adore pear and I’m so glad to see it in this cake. A highly underrated fruit.

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    1. It is definitely underrated, Emma - and I cannot figure out why!

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  19. Looks like another winner! I love desserts with pears (and apples, too, for that matter!)

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    1. I pretty much love all fruit desserts... and I am sure that shocks you, Susan!

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