Italian Pear Almond Cake
I have recently been searching for recipes with pear in the name because my tree is full of them! Today was my dad's birthday and it took a while to think of what to make him because he is the pickiest person ever. Rather than a traditional birthday cake I came across this pear cake and had to make! It took less than 50 minutes to make and I had all the ingredients on hand. This is a great cake to bring over someone's house or simply eat for breakfast. This serves about 8 people.
What you need
125 g (1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
125 g (1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp.) white sugar
2 large eggs
50 g (1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp.) all-purpose flour
100 g (3 1/2 oz.) ground almonds
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 small/medium ripe pears, peeled, cored and halved*
50 g (1.7 oz.) flaked/sliced almonds
Icing sugar, for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 375° F.
Grease an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Set aside.
Prepare pears, by peeling, coring and cutting in half. Set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and white sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a spatula, fold in the flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Spoon batter into the prepared springform pan and use a palette knife to even out the mixture. (Batter will be thick and fill the pan only about an inch thick).
Arrange the pear halves over the top of the cake and bake in pre-heated 375° F. oven for 25 minutes. Remove cake from oven and sprinkle the flaked/sliced almonds over the top. Return to the oven for a further 8-10 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then run a knife around the outside and carefully remove the ring and base. Dust with icing sugar before serving with
Optional Mascarpone, Marsala and Orange Cream:[/b] Whisk the grated rind of 1 orange and 2 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed orange juice in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons sweet Marsala and 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) of mascarpone cheese. Sweeten with icing sugar to taste.
*I cut the pears in half and then sliced them in half lengthwise again because I found that they were too thick.