By Cindy Ruth
(Excuse my bad photos. I have got to get a better light to take photos with. Our days are too short to rely on natural light, and my photos are suffering.)
Our ingredient this week is pears. For some reason, I had trouble coming up with something unique. I have been wanting to make a coffee cake lately-seems like the cold weather makes me crave things like this. I decided to do an adaptation of a sour cream coffee cake. I'm not sure where my original recipe came from-it's one written on a recipe card that I've had for a long time. The original has a streusel filling that contains currants and cocoa powder. I decided to skip those ingredients and add chopped fresh pears. I also changed around some of the spices.
The cake tasted really good on the day it was baked, with a good texture. But after that first day, the texture changed. I think it was too much moisture from the pears made the cake more dense, instead of the crumb you would normally think of in a coffee cake. I made double the recipe, and in the second batch I skipped the pears and used dried cranberries instead. I liked that texture better. So if you make this cake, which I do highly recommend, either serve it on the day it's made, or else subtitute dried fruit for the fresh pear.
The complimentary ingredients I used were WALNUTS, SUGAR, CINNAMON, BUTTER, and VANILLA.
PEAR SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE
1 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pear, peeled and diced
3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 16 oz container sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 12-cup Bundt pan.
2. Mix first 6 ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.
3. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.
4. In large bowl, beat butter and 1 1/2 cup sugar until fluffy and well-blended. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in vanilla.
5. Mix in dry ingredients, and sour cream alternately into the butter mixture in 3 additions. Beat on high 1 minute.
6. Pour one-third of batter itno prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of pear/nut mixutre. Spoon another third of batter on top, then sprinkle with remaining pear/nut mixture. Top with last third of batter.
7. Bake cake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on rack for 10-15 minutes. Cut around pan to loosen, then turn out onto rack and let cool 1 hour.
8. Transfer to a platter and serve.