Monday, October 17, 2016

Recipe: Rustic Cake for the Cooler Season

I made this dessert when my friends from New York T and L came over for dinner one evening in October. As the season of fall finally arrived I wanted to do something that fell in the mood of this cooler season. 

Well it’s not exactly a new recipe per se – in fact it’s largely based on the Rustic Tuscan Apple Cake recipe here. But I made a little twist and use pears instead – specifically these Korean "Shingo" pears which were widely available at supermarkets around town and super juicy. Pears are a bit sweeter than apples and don’t have the tartness, so the cake turned out having a slightly different texture and taste. I served by adding grated cinnamon on top and a generous scoop of mascarpone cream or vanilla icecream – either should work well.

Recipe: Tuscan-style Pear Cake (yield one 8-inch round cake, or for 6-8 persons)

  • 3 large Korean Shingo Pears
  • 3 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/3 cup of general purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of grated cinnamon


1. Pre-heat oven to 180C. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the cake mold and dust with flour.
2. Put 2/3 cup of sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk until fully combined. Add milk, flour, baking powder, baking soda into the bowl in order and mi completely until the batter is smooth and without any lumps.
3. Peel pears and remove the cores. Finely dice one of the pears and mix in to the batter. Pour batter into the cake mold and set aside.
4. Use a knife or mandoline slicer, cut the remaining 2 pears into thin slices. Then working from the center then moving outward, one by one press the pear slices into the batter in a circular pattern. Note you can probably put more than one layer of pears – it does look like an awful lot of fruits but just keep on until all the pears are laid in the mold.
5. Sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar on top, then splash in the remaining 2 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for about 80-90 minutes until the top turned golden and the pears on top slightly burned. Make sure the cake tester came out clean when inserted into the center of the cake. If not, bake for another 5-10 minutes and re-check.
6. Serve with a sprinkle of grated cinnamon on the cake or individual slices, and topped with whipped cream, mascarpone or icecream. 

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