What to do with all those Pears? Make Sunken Pear Cake
It is a funny thing when you start to think about how recipes change and evolve. My grandmother almost never followed a recipe, yet her Christmas cake never failed her…mine is a different story. Kuchen is the German word for cake, and this recipe for Sunken Pear Cake is David’s slight adjustment from the traditional apple version that you find in Germany (Versunkener Apfelkuchen). Please read the original post about experimenting with ingredients and recipe changes.
By mid-August in Provence, you begin to see the early harvest pears, apples and plums. There is still some stone fruit to be found, but indeed, the apricot season is well over by this period so why not make a dessert with pears?
Other Desserts with Pears:
Sunken Pear Cake
- 3 medium Pears
- 1/2 Lemon
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 9 tbsp softened unsalted butter plus extra for the pan
- 1 tsp Almond extract
- 3 large Eggs
- 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Fine Salt
- 1-2 tbsp Demerara (raw) Sugar
- optional Vanilla Ice Cream for serving
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F.
- Butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper; set aside.
- Peel, core, and quarter the pears.
- Thinly slice each quarter lengthwise without cutting all the way through to the core side, leaving the quarter hinged together.
- Finely grate the zest of the lemon into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set aside; save the lemon half.
- Cream the butter and sugar with the lemon zest, occasionally scraping down the sides; add the almond extract and 1 of the eggs.
- Beat until combined before adding the second egg.
- Beat until combined and then add the third egg, beating until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture until just combined, then beat in the juice from the reserved lemon half.
- Scrape down the sides with a spatula and give the batter one last mix by hand.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Gently press the pear quarters into the batter, core-side down, leaving only a bit of space between each quarter.
- If you have any pear left over, break off slices and insert them into any open space available.
- Sprinkle the top evenly with the demerara sugar.
- Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the cake is golden and a tester inserted into the cake (not pear) comes out clean, 35 to 37 minutes.
- Place the pan on a rack to cool for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edge and removing the springform ring. Let cool to room temperature.
- Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.