September is such a month of new beginnings--school, new season and new schedules for at least some of us. With the new season fast approaching, I am always reminded how good it is to eat whatever fruits and vegetables are in season.
Having just picked our pears last Sunday and carefully wrapping the greener ones in paper--I started thinking how good those pears are going to be all winter in pear preserves and pear honey. And, right now in a Pear Cake or Pie. A good friend, Jackie Bryant, up the street wants to share her pear pie and another friend wants to make Pear Preserves from her Grandmother from Missippi's recipe which features red hots. Can't wait to taste both of them. We just might have a pear party where we all get together and make them one of these Sunday afternoons or weekday evenings. I will be sure to share the recipes.
The Pear Cake is a recipe I just love and am featuring as a great dessert for the Balloon Tail Gating Party I am featuring in the October Cooking Club. You can get a free peek at the Cooking Club just by going to our website at www.janebutelcooking.com and get the rest of the recipes from the brunch if you join the cooking club, just click on Join Now and the first month is free, second month is $1.00.
PEAR BREAKFAST CAKE
Pears always seem like fall. However, I like them any time of the year. Their mellow, earthy sweet taste is wonderful in salads, a wide range of desserts, and just simply fresh, eaten out of the hand. This cake is best if allowed to set after baking and served either warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 6 servings
1 ½ cups plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar, divided (2 Tablespoons for batter, 1/3 cup for topping, 2 teaspoons to sprinkle over the top)
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ cup (1/2 stick) sweet (unsalted) butter, cut into ½ inch squares)
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla, Mexican if possible
¾ cup sour cream
3 firm, ripe pears
A sprinkle of ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 375F, making sure the rack is in the upper third of the oven. Butter a 9 x 9-inch square cake pan. Combine the dry ingredients, reserving 2 Tablespoons of flour and 1/3 cup, 2 teaspoons of the granulated sugar in a separate small bowl. Stir in the salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
2. Using your hands, a pastry blender, or the beater blade of the mixer, cut in the butter. Mix until uniform and no large particles of butter remain. In a separate small bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla and stir into the above dry ingredients. Spread the batter evenly into the buttered pan.
3. Combine the reserved 2 Tablespoons of flour, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and sour cream and pour this over the batter.
4. Peel, quarter, and core the pears. Then cut into long medium thick slices and arrange overlapping in a large circle just inside the edge of the pan. Place the remaining pears in a circle inside that one. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Remove the foil and sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and cinnamon. Bake for another 30 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean and the pears are tender and lightly browned.
6. To serve, place a paper doily on the cake and sieve some powdered sugar over it using the holes in the doily to make a pattern. Remove the doily and place foil over the top if you are transporting the cake. Otherwise serve it warm right from the oven or serving tray.
Did you know that you can get free samples of our spices every month with membership to our Cooking Club? I have had several tell me that they did not know that was part of the "deal"--so I decided I had best tell you all. You do have to place an order for us to ship them, however, you do get a good sized discount on ALL orders when you place them through your password and login information.
I have started a new program on Blog Talk Radio. I would love for you to start listening. Just go to their site on the internet. Also love to have you as friends on facebook and linked in and we twit on twitter.
Until next time,
Jane Butel, the Queen of Southwest Cooking