I rarely bake with fruit in the winter since there is so little fresh local fruit available. But the other day I stumbled across some delicious ripe pears at the market and remembered this old favorite recipe for Pear Butter Cake. Thin slices of juicy pear are baked on top of a gorgeous light cake that is spiced with cardamom and nutmeg. The artful design with pear on top gives it a fancy look, though it really is incredibly simple to make. It was such a treat to eat a fruit-infused dessert after so many months of not having any. I savored each juicy bit and set aside the recipe to make again when I find my next batch ripe pears at the market. If you are looking for more fabulous pear recipes don’t forget to check out this amazing slideshow. It is full of luscious pear recipes you don’t want to miss!
Pear Butter Cake
adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
3 eggs, room temperature
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
3 ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored and sliced thin in vertical strips
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a 9³ springform pan.
2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then, with the mixer on low add vanilla, lemon zest, cardamom and nutmeg and mix well. Next, add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
3. Scrape down the sides and restart the mixer, adding the flour and baking powder alternatively with the buttermilk until the batter is smooth.
4. Using a spatula, scrape the batter out of the bowl and into the cake pan so that the surface is somewhat level. Bake for 20 minutes.
5. After 20 minutes carefully remove the cake from the oven and arrange the pears in a circle around the edge of the cake and add an additional circle on the top. Sprinkle remaining 2 T. of sugar on top and place back in the oven.
6. Bake for another 50 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool before releasing from the pan, then serve warm.
*Note: Cake will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days if wrapped in plastic wrap with an outer layer of aluminum foil.