One of the foods that seems very fallish to me is pears. I've not done a lot with pears, though, because I seem to either get pears that are crispy or pears that are mealy. Either way is not good. But on a recent Trader Joe's expedition I picked up a 4-pack of lovely Bartlett pears that turned out to be just perfect. Juicy, flavorful, and delicious. We'd consumed two before I remembered the recipe. The one I'd ripped out of a magazine years ago. The one I'd been wanting to make but never seemed to have all the ingredients at the same time. I pulled it out, praying that two pears would be enough. It was, and I had everything else on the list. Well, almost everything. I didn't have non-fat sour cream, so I used non-fat plain yogurt. They have a similar taste, consistency, and basically serve the same purpose in baked goods. Plus it makes me happier to use yogurt than fake food.
Amazingly, this beautiful little cake is not laden with humongous amounts of calories. It has a light, delicate crumb to go with its gentle pear flavor. It's a perfect cake to pop in the oven when you've got friends coming over for coffee. Or make it with your kids and start a new fall tradition.
Pear Cake with Pine Nuts
adapted from Cooking Light
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup 1% milk
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 large egg
2 cups thinly sliced, peeled pear
1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
2- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl, stir well with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Remove 1/3 cup flour mixture, place in a small bowl. Stir in pine nuts and cinnamon, set aside.
3- Combine the flour mixture with the next 7 ingredients (yogurt through egg) in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Pour the batter into prepared cake pan. Arrange the pear slices evenly over the batter. Sprinkle with pine nut mixture. Bake at 350 deg. for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 8 slices.