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French Pear Cake

This cake celebrates the beautiful fall bounty of pears with just enough cake to hold them together with a flaky sweet crust. Just a dusting of powdered sugar and maybe a scoop of vanilla ice cream is all this needs, depending on if this is breakfast or dessert, or both.

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Dry ingredients

1 1/3 cups flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup sour cream

2 pears - Red or Bartlett, ripe but still firm


1/4 cup white sugar

1/3 cup flaked almonds

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

  • Butter a 9" spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment paper

  • Cut the pears in half lengthwise and and remove the stem and fiber, using a melon baller, remove the seeds from both halves.

  • Slice the pear halves lengthwise in 1/4 inch slices

  • Place the pear slices evenly in a fan pattern around the outside of the springform pan - like petals of a flower leaving the center empty and set aside

  • Beat the butter and brown/white sugar together in a stand mixer until it is light and fluffy

  • Add the eggs, one at a time beating well to combine and scape down the bowl

  • Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl

  • Gradually add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream

  • Beat until the batter is all well combined

  • Spoon the batter gently over the pears - there will be just enough batter to cover

  • Sprinkle the cake with the almonds and granulated sugar

  • Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean

  • Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the spring form pan

  • Remove from the pan to a platter and dust with a bit of powdered sugar.

  • Serve with ice cream if desired


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