September 24, 2012
Pretty Little Pear Cakes
Do you ever just by an ingredient because it's cute?
That's how I was suckered into these little cuties at the markets this week.
I couldn't resist the perfect little corella pears that were so dainty and tiny- perfect little miniatures
See how much smaller they are next to a regular sized one?
I just couldn't bear to cut them up, I had to find a recipe that would make the most of their cute factor as well as their yumminess factor. I figured that as they were already a perfect individual serving size, I would take that theme a bit further and serve them as an individual cake dessert. Can you combine cute and elegant? I think I just about managed it :)
Pear and Almond Cakes
1 cup Almond Meal
1 cup gluten free Flour
125gm Butter/ dairy free alternative
1/2 cup Pear Juice
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Castor Sugar
First things first, prepare the pears
The best way to remove the core is with a melon baller. Try not to dig in too deeply, as you don't want to take out very much flesh, just the seedy bits. You coud certainly leave them in if you want, it will just be a bit crunchy!
I always find the easiest way to keep a nice smooth line for presentation is to peel the pears downwards. This way I can get the peeler all the way down the stalk as well in a nice single stroke which leaves it looking nice and tidy
Place the pears into acidulated water (add some lemon juice to the water bowl) as soon as they're peeled as they go brown really quickly
Now if these were large pears and you were leaving them whole, they would probably need to be poached before using. But as these are teensy tiny, I don't want them to get too soft and go mushy
Beat together the butter, sugar and eggs until nice and fluffy
Add in the flour, almond meal and juice
Just beat until nicely combined
I used Texas muffin tins for these, they have a 1 cup capacity and a nice shallow dish that wouldn't swallow up the whole pear
Use about 1/2 cup of mix, then snuggle the pear in gently. Be careful not to push the pear all the way down to the bottom of the tin as the cakes need a nice firm base to bake under the pear so the cake will come out nicely and hold together
Sprinkle with flaked almonds to make the cakies look pretty and to add a nice crunch
Bake for about 25 minutes at 170*C. You want the cakes to firm up nicely but not overcook the pears on top. They will go browner than the inside bits, but still taste nice- I promise!
These are a lovely moist cake with a very delicate flavour. They are very nice on their own, but I also served them in a puddle of custard for extra bling, but if you really wanted to go for broke a toffee sauce would be sublime.
Aren't these Pretty Little Pear Cakes? I think so, I hope you do too!
So Dear Readers, do you ever buy ingredients just because they're cute, and do you think it's possible to combine elegant and cute at the same time?