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.
14 thoughts on “A Seasonal, Southern Red Bartlett Pear-Almond Cake (with Grits & Molasses)”
Hey Teresa, Thanks for sharing this pear treat the other day at our shoot. It was very delicious. Cheers
Finally it worked out where you could taste a treat from Food on Fifth! Happy to share and thanks for the comment.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such beautiful pears – that deep intense colour, and I’m imagining the flavour would be equally good. Nothing better than simple and seasonal is there?
Claire, That color just blew me away! Wouter bought these and when I saw them I was stunned. They were so beautiful and very naturally sweet. Thanks for stopping by.
I consider myself very luck to have been the recipient of this fabulous tart. It indeed tastes as good as it looks. Thanks. Jill
Jill, it was so nice to share this with you and Mark and Lizzie. Timing is everything don’t you think?
you make it sound so simple, look so pretty, and, i suppose, taste delicious…why does mark get some and not moi?
Life is not fair when it comes to food and war I suppose! It just worked out that I was working at the studio and made this cake the day before. If I had not shared I would have eaten it all myself. There is always Paris.
Stunning. And I love that you left the peels on. I do too.
You know most of the time I probably would not have done that, but the peel on these particular pears was so soft and perfect that I had to because the color was so beautiful.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that there are perhaps 10 minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat….I believe you found those 10 minutes.
I love the Red barletts, both for color and taste.
Ralph Waldo was exactly correct I think and these were, indeed, at that perfect point.
I have to say unbelievable delicious. What lucky man I am.