Joy to the World

Need a break from your work day?    Here’s a little piece of advice.  Pay a quick electronic visit to one of the best food blogs I’ve seen,  Joy the Baker

Joy the Baker is…well, a baker from Los Angeles who dreams up amazing recipes, takes drop-dead gorgeous photos, and consequently has an extremely loyal following.  Let’s put it this way, she can take a photo of a random pile of chopped nuts and make it look like a work of art.  Her recipes range from the simply-sweet Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies, to one-of-a-kind creations like “Peabody’s Grandmother’s Lime Conspiracy Pie with marshmallows,” to the mouthwateringly beautiful “Pear Spice Cake with Walnut Praline Topping.” 

So with Joy’s permission, we’re pleased to bring you this recipe from her incredible repertoire!


Pear Spice Cake with Walnut Praline Topping

     adapted from Gourmet, December 1992

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
1  cups buttermilk
3 pears, peeled, cored and diced into roughly 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 to 1 1/4 cups of fruit)
1 cup walnuts (3 ounces), toasted , cooled, and finely chopped

Make cake:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour bundt pan.

Sift together flour,  baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Beat together butter, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer or 4 with a handheld. Add yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in batches, mixing well after each addition.  Fold in pear pieces and chopped walnuts.

Beat egg whites in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they just hold stiff peaks, then fold whites into batter gently but thoroughly.

Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, and bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely.

Walnut Praline Topping

3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cups walnuts, roughly chopped, toasted

Stir golden brown sugar, whipping cream and  1/2 cup butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until smooth. Boil 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in walnut pieces. Spoon warm topping over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.


About Jenny

Hello! I write about all things pear, from local events to online sightings. Check out my posts for fun and creative ideas involving USA Pears!

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