What do to do with overripe pears? A pear cake with an incomparable mellowness and taste!
Pear cake is as easy as delicious and it’s perfect for tea time. Today, it will be my kid’s snack when they come back from school. I am sure it will be a safe bet.
In France, we are really fond of cakes. We have three key traditional cakes:
- the famous Quatre-quarts which means “four quarters”: 1/4 butter, 1/4 sugar, 1/4 flour, 1/4 eggs + baking powder
- the very traditional candied fruits cake
- vanilla and chocolate cake (50/50)
Even if we like traditions, we are even more tempted by new flavours… poppy seeds, chocolate, double chocolate, Nutella, banana, lemon, orange, apple, pears, pineapple, cinnamon, coffee, yogurt etc… Sophie Dudemaine, called “the queen of cakes” in France, identified many cake recipes and wrote a French cooking book – Les cakes de Sophie – 100% dedicated to French cakes with about 80 different recipes! A treasure for people loving cakes…
Pear cake: what to say about nutrition?
Strange question, isn’t it for a pastry? I you are on diet, forget about cakes but if it’s not the case some tips will allow you to reconcile pleasure and health:
- I recommend using T80 wheat flour: glycemic index is much lower than white flour, significantly richer in fibers and it’s full of mineral salts (potassium). I always use T80 flour for cakes and result is excellent.
- Moreover, I always reduce quantity of sugar in cakes. Here, I have divided sugar by 2 and it remains sufficiently sweet with the pears…
- Eventually, for a lighter version of that pear cake, pears can simply be steamed instead of being cooked into a syrup… I am sure it would be good.
- Pear is an excellent source of antioxydants which means this cake is a very good way to make your kids eat fruit in case they are reluctant to them…
French pear cake recipe
For 1 cake (about 10-12 slices)
- Preparation: 15 minutes
- Cooking: 60 minutes
- Total: 1h15
- 3 eggs
- 2.82 oz (80g) sugar + 3.53 oz (100g) for preparing the syrup
- 5.64 oz (160g) wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 5.29 oz (150g) salted butter softened to roon temperature (or add 1/2 teaspoon salt to 5.29 oz i.e. 150g unsalted butter)
- 2 ripe pears (large size, preferably Williams)
- 3.53 oz (10 cl) water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
- Optional: 1.76 oz (50g) chocolate chips
- Optional: 1 tablespoon of Cognac (Brandy) or Rum
In the original recipe (from a French pastry book), they is much more sugar into the cake (6 oz instead of 2.82). Reason is because more and more people in France (and I include myself ino that group) dislike excessively sweet pastries. Therefore, I always reduce quantity of sugar from recipes coming from cooking books. If you prefer a stronger sweet taste, don’t hesitate to add more v(up to 6 oz i.e. 170g)…
- Preheat oven to 350°T (180°C)
- Peel the pears, remove the core and cut them into two pieces
- Prepare syrup: bring to a boil 3.53 oz (10 cl) water with 3.53 oz (100g) sugar into a saucepan.
- Reduce to low heat and add the pears. Cover the saucepan and cook during 15 minutes
- Dice the pears
- Whisk eggs with 2.82 oz (80g) sugar into a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, vanilla and butter softened at room temperature (if it’s cold you can melt it in micro-wave). Mix well.
- Optional: add the chocolate chips
- Optional: add the Cognac (Brandy) or Rum
- Gently add the pears and mix carefully
- Butter and flour a rectangular cake mould
- Pour the dough into the mould and bake for about 45 minutes
- Let cool till serving
I have never tried but I am sure it would be a good option to add cinnamon to the syrup used to cook the pears!
For teatime, I encourage you to try also: https://www.frenchmumcooking.com/pain-perdu-the-genuine-french-toasts/