Friday, August 1, 2014

gateau de Poire

It's that time of year again. Pears! Four cases of these beauties! (yikes)
Actually it feels a touch early to me this year. I thought I usually started this madness in late August - but maybe I am just not remembering correctly. 
The whole 'Pear, Peach, whatever fruit' episodes come about because I have a friend, who has a mother, who works at a job where she gets tons of stone fruit. Every year we are the lucky recipients of whatever she is able to throw our way. Right now it's all about pears and I have been in a frenzy in the kitchen trying to use them up. I've decided to avoid canning this year 
(i know...dumb...) 
(And especially dumb since we all know I will eventually be canning!)
But right now it's been all about cakes and jams.
Here's the favorite so far.

Gateau de Poire - Pear Cake.
I love this cake. 
Maybe because it's not too sweet? Maybe because of that to-die-for that crispy outside edge? Maybe because it's actually pretty quick to make and requires no fancy shmancy ingredients? Or maybe because the fruit choices are somewhat interchangeable depending on what is flooding my kitchen? Whatever it is, I hope you try this one. 
And grab your springform pan.


12 tablespoons butter - divided.
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour.
6 firm pears.
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of sugar.
1 tsp baking powder.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
1 lemon - zest and juice.
3 large eggs.


Peel, core and chop 4 of the pears. I like big chunks.
In your stand mixer - place the flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup of the sugar.
Zest the lemon into this mixture and give it a light stir.
Set aside.

In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.
To this pan add the chopped pears + juice from half of the lemon + the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Medium to medium high heat.
Give it all a good stir and cook about 15 minutes - until the pears have softened but are still firm and until there is almost no liquid left in the pan.
Stir frequently to make sure the guys on the bottom don't get too crispy.

While the pears are cooking, melt the remaining 10 tablespoons of butter and let cool slightly.
Prep your spring form pan. Either butter and flour the inside really well - or use a nonstick spray.
Oven to 350 - middle rack.
Peel and slice the remaining 2 pears.
You need these to make the top all pretty (this is also totally optional)
I only wanted the pieces that were about the same length and pretty for decorating. The pieces from the sides that are too small, I chopped these in half and threw them in with the pears on the stove (no waste)
Use the last half of your lemon over the tops of these pears and give them all a rub - just make sure they are all coated with lemon juice. This helps to keep the fruit from turning yellow/brown ick.
Set aside.

Back to the stand mixer - give all that stuff a good mix. 
Add the eggs. 
Mix well.
Add the melted butter.
Mix just until most is incorporated.
There may be a little butter floating around the edge and that is fine.
Finish mixing the batter by hand.

Time to assemble the cake!
Scoop the cooked pears into your prepared pan.
Pour the batter over the top.
Level it out as best you can.
Arrange your pear slices all around the top.
Skinniest parts of the sliced pears need to be in the center.
Wide part of the pears on the outside edge.
Into the oven this goes for 35 minutes.
Check the center with a toothpick - a little crumb sticking to the toothpick is a good thing.

Remove and let cool for a couple hours IN the springform pan.

Serve with salted caramel sauce (recipe up soon)


  1. I am also swimming in pears this year, a gift from a friend's orchard, so I made this cake last night. Gave half of it to my friend when it was still warm. Should have tried it first. I would have kept the whole thing and eaten it myself, it was that good. Light and fluffy, lemony and fruity. Simple ingredients but in total harmony. The caramel sauce put it over the top. My pan must have been smaller than the one used in the recipe because it took about 20 minutes longer to bake, but what else can I say? It was PEARFECT.

    1. LoL CIndy! Thank you! SO happy you were able to bake and enjoy.