And what a beautiful spring it already is in sunny California! My friends back East have been treated to another dusting of snow, but here on the West Coast the weather has been warm and the streets have been lined with flowering trees. It is one of my favorite times of the year.
I had some lovely pears left in my refrigerator, which I accidentally let ripen too much in the midst of a hectic work schedule. Since I like my fruit crisp and at its peak (not soft), I decided to turn the pears into this lovely Italian pear cake – it was my way of saying adieu to winter and its warm, spice-filled dishes. This cake is surprisingly light and fluffy thanks to the corn starch, and lightly sweetened. I added a little cinnamon for a little extra warmth.
Italian Pear Cake (original recipe here)
- 3 ‘very’ ripe small pears (or 2 large ones) – peeled & cut into chunks
- 1 & 1/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup corn flour (corn starch)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp butter (slightly melted)
- 3 eggs
- confectioner’s sugar (to sprinkle/ decorate on cake)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
- Cream the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Sift the flour, corn starch, cinnamon (if using), salt, and baking powder together.
- Add the flour mix and stir well, add the butter till the batter is smooth.
- Lightly grease and then line a 9-inch (23 cm) springform cake pan with parchment paper, and pour in the batter.
- Peel the the pears, cut in chunks and drop them on the cake, gently pushing down each piece of pear. It doesn’t matter if the pear sticks out of the cake it will all blend in.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean – do not overtake! Leave to cool before serving.
- When cool, dust with confectioner’s sugar.
- (Optional) Serve with whipped cream.