This pear torte was served at Wild Onion's Autumn Equinox honoring the Daghdha. Excellent with any in-season tree fruit (apples, pears, peaches)! Recipe courtesy of Jack Cole, Wild Onion Grove, Chicago.
4-5 ripe pears (should be fairly soft to the touch - see Notes)
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F, and move rack to the middle of the oven.
- Peel, core and slice pears into chunks or strips. Place pear pieces in a small bowl with some water and a little lemon juice to keep them from browning.
- Spray a 9" springform pan with any neutral cooking spray.
- Cream butter and sugar until smooth.
- Add eggs 1 at a time, making sure to incorporate each before adding the next.
- In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Add dry ingredients to wet, and thoroughly mix. Make sure there are no lumps of dry ingredients.
- Pour batter into springform pan, and smooth until entire bottom is covered.
- Place pears on top of batter until most of the batter is covered. Be careful NOT to place pear pieces on the edge touching the metal pan - they will burn!
- Bake 50 minutes. The top will be somewhat undercooked, but this is the desired outcome. DO NOT OVERBAKE!
Make sure the fruit is fairly ripe to yield a moist cake. Underripe fruit tends to make this a bit dry.