Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gâteau fondant aux poires - French Pear Cake

I am SO thankful that things are finally starting to slow down and I am able to do a little baking in my spare time, it really is the best therapy. My first three BA classes are going to be over with this coming Saturday, then it's on to two new classes starting Monday (which I am hoping are not as bad). It's been a crazy semester so far, Christmas break this year is going to be glorious.

I think pears are probably the most forgotten of all the fruits, when fall hits everyone is like yay apples! Yay pumpkins! But no one stops and thinks about the lowly pear. I have always been a fan of the pears soft, sweet texture, especially when prepared in tart/cake form because they cook down so nicely. This cake might sound fancy but it's pretty simple, the zest of the fruit, flavor of the vanilla, and a dash of cinnamon make this cake ideal for the cozy winter times. Keep in mind, this isn't your typical super sweet cake, you may add a 1/2 cup more sugar in the mix if you would like, but I personally think that the powdered sugar on top makes up for the subtle sweetness of the cake.

Gâteau fondant aux poires - French Pear Cake

3-4 small ripe pears, peeled and quartered or cubed
1 cup 1 1/2 Tablespoons (250 g) butter, at room temperature
zest of 1 lemon (I used 1 tsp orange zest and it was delicious)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups 1 1/2 tablespoons (250 g) flour (I used 1 1/2 cups AP flour and 1/2 cup and 1 1/2 whole grain flour)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
powdered sugar (for topping)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.Grease a 24 cm (9 1/2 inch) spring pan and set aside

2. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar together until very fluffy and white. Mix in the eggs slowly, one egg at a time. Add vanilla and lemon (or orange) zest.

3.In another bowl sift together flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Add the flour mixture slowly to the egg mixture. Don't over mix. The batter will be of a thicker consistency.

4.Pour half of the batter into the spring pan. Place the pears on top. Pour the rest of the batter in the pan.

5.Bake for about 60 min or until a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

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