I went a little crazy a few weeks back and bought a 5-pound bag of Bartlett pears. I already had four ripening pears left in the fruit basket before buying this bag too. I was on a pear kick, I guess.
I got a ton of great ideas from all of you on Facebook with suggestions on what to do with all these pears.
Then one morning I felt like baking a cake and I decided pears would be what the cake was made of.
I found the recipe from AllRecipes.com and adjusted it to be gluten-free and vegan. The result of my adjustments made for a dense but moist cake that had a nicely textured crumb without falling apart. You’ll want to keep this cake covered with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out though.
The original recipe did not call for any seasoning like cinnamon or nutmeg or whatever seasoning you’d think would make sense in a dark fruity cake like this. I was a bit hesitant and considered adding some ground ginger and cinnamon, but at the last minute – mostly out of curiosity – decided to forgo adding any spices to mine too. Shockingly it tastes very good without anything added. I still might add some ground ginger next time just for fun, but if you’re using nice and ripe pears you won’t need anything because the flavor of the pears really does come through beautifully.
In these photos I’ve frosted the cake with a basic vegan buttercream but it really doesn’t need to be iced. It has a sweetness of it’s own that you don’t need to dress up with icing. But because I loved how dark the cake was and how bright white the icing was, I decided to ice it. Weird reasoning, I know.
- 4 large ripe pears - peeled, cored and sliced thinly
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 cup organic coconut sugar
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- ½ cup tapioca starch
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum or guar gum
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons ground flax + 8 tablespoons warm water
- 1 teaspoon high quality vanilla extract
- Combine sliced pears, cane sugar, coconut sugar, and pecans in a large bowl. Let sit for an hour. Blend together until mostly smooth. Transfer back to bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8.5"x11" baking dish.
- Sift together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, coconut flour and tapioca starch into a medium bowl. Add xanthan or guar gum, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
- Whisk together ground flax and warm water in a small bowl. Let sit 5-10 minutes until thickened. Add to the rest of the mixture.
- Add in vanilla. Stir until combined. The batter will be very thick. Spread out into the prepared baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, until an inserted pick comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before icing (optional), slicing and serving.
I’d like to take a quick second to give another mention of my new cookbook Gluten Free & Vegan Family Feasts which is available for download here. I’m extending the introductory promo code until December 24th so you can save $4. Just use the promo code ‘greateats’ at the checkout.
Thanks a bunch!