Pear Cream Torte
By Heidi Allison
Somewhere between a Tarte Tatin and a custard, this moist, fruit-centric cake makes the perfect breakfast or light dessert. Luscious, ripe, in-season fall pears are the foundation of this English-inspired dish. You’ll get the best results using a variety of pears, which creates a rich, complex pear flavor.
In this recipe, Bartlett
and Bosc Pears
are used, imparting a sweet yet slightly spicy grace note to the finished dish. Bartlett pears provide the “true pear flavor” and a soft, juicy texture. An aromatic variety, Bartletts are more unique in that they ripen after harvest, going from dark green to golden yellow color with a rosy blush skin. (Other pears show very little color change as they ripen.) Originating in England, Bartlett pears have a sweet taste and creamy, juicy texture, while Bosc pears have a spicy-sweet flavor and crisp flesh.
Pears offer health benefits too! Not only are these fall fruits an excellent source of vitamins B and C, they also provide copper, potassium and fiber. Recent research is linking the nutrients in pears to lowering blood pressure, fighting inflammation and reducing the risk of colon cancer. This is one cake you won’t feel guilty serving!
Pear Cream Torte
3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, room temp and soft
¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
3 ripe (Yellow) Bartlett Pears
1 ripe Bosc Pear
1 small Lemon
3 large Organic Eggs, room temperature
1 cup Granulated Sugar
¾ cup Whipping Cream, room temperature
1 Vanilla Bean
, slit in half and inside scraped out
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1½ teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Kosher Flake Salt
¼ cup Powdered Sugar
1 sprig of Mint (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch spring form pan, shake out the excess flour and set aside.
Peel pears with a vegetable peeler, cut in half and core. Remove the inner string from center of Bartlett pears. Using a mandoline, slice pears into ¼-inch disks and place in a big bowl. Squeeze lemon juice over pears and toss to coat, and set aside. * If pears are too wide to use mandoline, cut off excess pear from one side to fit and slice these pieces into strips.
In a large bowl, add eggs and granulated sugar. Set mixer on low speed, then gradually increase to high speed and beat until light pale yellow and thickened—about 1½ minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add cream and vanilla, beating 30 more seconds to blend. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix till combined.
Add pears and stir gently with a wooden spoon to combine. Pour batter into spring form pan and gently drop from about 5-inch height on counter to flatten pear slices, or flatten any by hand.
Bake in the center rack of the oven for about 1 hour, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
Let cake cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. The cake should have pulled back from pan ring, but if not, run a knife around the rim between the cake and pan to loosen. Remove pan ring and let cool about 20 minutes more. Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with a sprig of mint.