Tag Archives: Pears

Pear Amaretto Loaf Cake

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The past several years in a row, Matt and I have done the apple picking thing. We’ve driven upstate, admired the changing leaves on our peaceful drive, then stopped for lunch in the area of the orchard. Then we’d descend on the orchard and fill up two giant bags with apples, various different kinds (Fuji, honeycrisp, gala…). And then, we would get home and of course make the inevitable discovery that we’d picked too many apples. Adding insult to injury is the fact that neither of us like applesauce.

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This year, we decided to skip this venture. Something in me just wasn’t up for it this year; maybe it’s a sign we need to find a new orchard – the one we’ve visited has a cover band playing every year, and it’s the only time I’ve ever heard a Maroon 5 song in the same set as “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” And then there’s the whole apple cider doughnut situation-thing.

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And of course, it’s entirely possible that my readers may remember the plethora abundance of apple recipes I posted with my stash last year, and were perhaps hoping there would not be a repeat. There won’t. Throughout this whole apple explosion of the last two years, I realized I’ve neglected the lovely pear, apple’s oft-forgotten cousin, and thought I’d take a small step to remedy that. With cake. Because, what else? I mean, really. I do feel I should offer a small and sheepish apology for how many bowls you’ll use to make this cake, but I promise you, it’s well worth it. So moist and delicious. Enjoy!

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{One Year Ago: Apple Cheddar Quiche, French Apple Tart}

Source: adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

Ingredients:

CAKE:
2 large Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and chopped
5 tbs toasted walnuts, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbs Amaretto liqueur
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp kosher salt
6 ½ tsp slivered almonds
3 large eggs
¾ cup sunflower or canola oil
1 cup plus 2 ½ tbs granulated sugar

GLAZE:
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tbs Amaretto liqueur

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 325 F. Grease a standard loaf pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the pears, walnuts, lemon zest, and Amaretto. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Add the almonds to a mini food processor and pulse until finely ground; but be careful not to turn it into almond butter. Add the ground almonds to the flour mixture and whisk to combine.
Separate 2 of the eggs, reserving the whites in one bowl and transferring the yolks to another small to medium bowl. Add the third whole egg to the yolks and whisk to combine.
In yet another bowl, briskly whisk together the oil and sugar, then whisk in the egg yolk mixture. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the oil and sugar mixture. Whisk to combine, then gently fold in the pear mixture.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then gently fold them into the cake batter. It’s okay if a few white streaks remain, you want to avoid overmixing as that will make the cake dry.
Pour the cake batter into your prepared pan. Bake 45-60 minutes, until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool, then remove the cake from the pan.
Now make the glaze. Simply add the confectioners’ sugar and Amaretto to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour the glaze liberally over the cake. Slice and serve.

Caramelized Onion, Pear and Goat Cheese Pizza

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Welcome to Part Two of my Favorite Food Bloggers Series!

Kirsten Madaus is the force behind Farm Fresh Feasts. She started commenting on my blog awhile back, thus alerting me to the presence of her blog, and I’ve since become an avid reader. Kirsten is a military wife and a mom to two teenagers (plus one adorable dog!). As you can imagine she has moved around quite a bit and has had a pretty exciting life!

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Several years ago, she and her husband decided to start using CSA’s (community supported agriculture) and this has led them on a path to lots of healthy eating and becoming more environmentally friendly. Kirsten started blogging to share what she was doing with her abundant shares of different types of produce, some of which was initially quite foreign to her. For anyone unfamiliar, joining a CSA is basically buying shares in a farm, and those shares entitle you to a portion of their harvest. So it’s very common for CSA members to receive an astoundingly large quantity of one or two types of produce at one time. So you have to figure out ways to use it before it spoils, and you have to figure out creative ways to use the same vegetable in different ways so you don’t get sick of it. Kirsten’s blog chronicles her CSA journey.

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Her creativity and passion shine through on every post she writes. She is a wonderful writer and just an all-around terrific person. She really puts her money where her mouth is, but never comes across judgmental or self-righteous in the least. (And let’s face it, we’ve all met or read passionate, environmentally-conscious people who do). In addition to all her cooking and baking, she also writes about composting, something I’m personally very interested to learn more about. She even has two adorable guinea pig composters that live with her! Such a cool idea. Living in New York makes composting a bit difficult, so when I read about her two compost pigs, I thought, what a neat solution, and briefly considered looking into that for myself. But then I wondered if my cats would compost the guinea pigs… if you catch my drift…

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Anyways, Kirsten is definitely a go-to for innovative ways to use your fruits and veggies. Two of her favorite things to make are muffins and pizzas, and honestly I have never seen such awesome and creative pizza flavor combinations. Like ham and banana. And corn, feta and swiss chard. Kirsten, you so need to move to New York and open up a pizza shop, probably in the West Village or in one of the foodier parts of Brooklyn. You would be an overnight sensation! Oh, and beyond just the creative toppings, she makes her own dough, and often puts vegetables in the dough. My personal faves are her spinach dough, which is a really cool green color, and her beet pizza dough, which is shockingly hot pink and like nothing I’ve ever seen.

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I knew I really wanted to make one of her pizzas for this feature, so I chose one with caramelized onions, pears and goat cheese. It was unbelievably delicious. Matt and I raved for days afterward. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly in the cooking method because I do not have a pizza stone. So several years ago, I figured out how to get that pizza oven taste without using an actual stone. But definitely try this pizza, it’s so sophisticated and amazing!! And for sure you should check out Farm Fresh Feasts!

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Other delicious-looking recipes of Kirsten’s I debated making: Beet-Horseradish Muffins; Tangerine Waffles

Read the rest of this series!   Part One    Part Three    Part Four
Part Five    Part Six    Part Seven    Part Eight    Part Nine    Part Ten

Source: lightly adapted from Farm Fresh Feasts

Ingredients:
1 pound pizza dough, at room temperature
1/2 cup caramelized onions
1/2 large pear, thinly sliced
4 oz. goat cheese
2/3 cup shredded fontina or provolone cheese
Dried Italian seasoning

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Grease a round pizza pan. Press the dough into a circle and prick all over with a fork. Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Evenly distribute the onions over top the dough. Top with pear slices. Top with the shredded cheese, then crumble the goat cheese all over. Sprinkle Italian seasoning over entire pizza.

Bake for 9-14 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned, and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven, let rest on a cutting board for about 5-10 minutes, then slice and serve, and enjoy!