Pear Almond Tea Cake

Saturday, June 13, 2015

I must say I more than 'adapted' this recipe. Looking through numerous others that wasn't really what I wanted made me bold enough to go where I've never gone before. I fashioned my own! A small accomplishment but nevertheless, a milestone for a Mom without culinary training ;)

So what was it that I was looking for? Something with pears, but only on top, a coffee cake flavored lightly with almonds, and something that included sour cream to make it moist. Okay, I stretched the last one... I only wanted to use up the sour cream because it was sitting in the fridge. LOL

But hey, it worked great and everything came together in my very own Pear Almond tea cake. I'm now leaning toward my English upbringing of tea time, hence it would be a tea cake as opposed to coffee cake. And yes, as I'm writing this post, I'm enjoying a slice of the Pear Almond tea cake, and seriously enjoying it with Twinnings raspberry and pomegranate tisane. It's divine together! Wouldn't you agree?

2 firm pears, peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
4 tbsp butter
2 vanilla beans
2 star anise
1/2 cup sugar

2 cups flour
1/2 cup almond flour / almond meal
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp almond extract

1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup turbinado or Demerara sugar

1. In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat the butter with the vanilla and star anise until warm, then carefully place the sliced pears, making sure they are not overlapping.
2. Drizzle the sugar on top of the pears and wait for it to slowly brown, doing so on medium heat.
3. Remove the pear slices with a slotted turner and place gently on a plate. Reserve the 'caramel poaching' liquid for use in the batter.

4. Butter and line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
5. Preheat the oven to 350F.

6. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, making sure to break up the chunks of mostly the almond meal. Then make a well in the center.

7. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy.
8. Add the sour cream to the eggs, whisking to incorporate, again smoothing out any lumps.
9. To this, add the almond extract.
10. Whisk in the cooled caramel poaching liquid to the egg mixture.

11. Pour the wet ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients bowl and, with a spatula, fold until just combined.
12. Done! Pour into the springform pan and carefully lay the pears on top in a circular pattern.
13. Scatter the sliced almonds on top then sprinkle with sugar.

14. Bake for 45 minutes until a skewer poked into the center of the cake slides out clean and unbattered (I just coined a word there;) )
15. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before unfolding on to a pretty cake pedestal.
Oh.. And enjoy with tea!

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