Some friends of ours have a pear tree in their backyard. They always get to the point where they have used, eaten, and canned all the pears they can handle. So, they are happy when others come and pick some pears off their tree. We usually pick a few, but this year is the first we have taken home buckets full of them.
We made pear pie, pear bread, and pear cake, pear “coffee cake,” and plan to try Walnut & Pear Chicken (similar to a ‘sweet & sour’ pineapple chicken recipe we have). We have fresh pears with our breakfast, pears in our lunches, and pears as dessert.
The Fresh Pear Cake was a definite hit. After the first one disappeared very quickly, I planned to make another. Child #1 said, “Mom, whenever you make something a second time, you always BURN it.” This has been all too true in the last year or two. I get cocky that I can make something spectacular and then I get distracted. With little ones in the house, this is an easy and frequent occurrence. It happened with my birthday cake last year. It happened with some delicious fudge I was making only a month ago. But it didn’t happen this time. Here’s our recipe.
Fresh Pear Cake
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups finely chopped or pureed peeled pears (about 3 medium)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (mix in with pears)
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs on medium speed. Gradually add sugar & oil; beat thoroughly. Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda; add alternately with pears to egg mixture and mix well.
Pour into a greased and floured 10-in tube pan. (I usually have enough for a 8″ pan and a decent sized 10″ pan as well. So, I get two cakes – one for the family & one smaller one to give away. If you do this, keep in mind that the smaller cake will be done baking in a shorter time. If you only use the one 10″ tube pan, it might take an extra 5-10 minutes to bake.)
Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. (I usually double the inversion so the top is back on top. But that isn’t what the recipe says, so do whatever you think looks best.)
In a small bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar with 2 T milk. Beat until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Cool completely.