Three beautifully deep red Bartlett Pears, a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour & a box of yellow grits, a bit of raw sugar & Muddy Pond sorghum molasses collided in my kitchen this afternoon. They did not start out intending to meet. They were all minding their own business sitting quietly on their shelves. It was really all the pears fault. They entered, sitting boldly on the counter, which is where I found them. Perfectly ripe today, tomorrow they would not be so. The skins, soft and edible, melding with the flesh as I bit into one. They begged to become a cake, nothing fancy, just a simple rustic cake. I agreed.
“A Seasonal Southern Red Bartlett Pear Almond Cake”
Here is what I used:
3 Red Bartlett pears, 1 cup raw sugar, 1 1/2 sticks softened butter, 2 TBSP sorghum molasses, 3 eggs, 2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal Flour, 1/2 cup yellow corn grits, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, homemade “Very Vanilla Bean Sugar” (or store-bought vanilla sugar) & Powdered Sugar to garnish
Here is how you make it:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ springform pan.
2. Mix together the almond meal, grits, baking soda & salt. Set aside.
3. Cream sugar, butter & molasses together until fluffy. Beat in vanilla & eggs. Turn mixer to low and add dry ingredients, mixing just until well blended.
4. Scrape batter into the prepared springform pan smoothing the top.
5. Cut pears in half & remove cores from each. Cut each half into quarters. Place half of the pear quarters in a circle over the top of the cake batter. Bake cake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and quickly add another layer of the pears on top of the partially baked cake. Return to oven and bake another 10 minutes or so. Remove cake from oven and while still hot sprinkle generously with “Very Vanilla Bean Sugar”. Sugar crystals will melt on top of the hot cake.
A dense, very moist cake with lots of texture and flavor, almost like pear pudding in the middle. To gussy it up serve with a light dusting of powdered sugar.