Tuesday, October 11, 2011

(Pear) Cake or Death?

Pear cake, please, not "or death"--I passed the Tennessee bar! And immediately thereafter got about five different letters from various legal organizations saying "Congratulations! Now give us money." Which I haz not got.

But I am rich in pears. The stars of this simple little cake are Keiffir pears from Jones Orchard. The whole cloves came from Maggie's Pharm. I'll definitely make this recipe again. It was very easy, the batter tasted delicious in its raw state (very important), and it uses only a few ingredients.

Marcella admonishes me to NEVER use Bartlett pears in this recipe. Only Boscs, Anjous, or Conferenzas will do. But I'm pretty easy to please, and the Keiffirs suited me just fine.

A Farm Wife's Fresh Pear Tart
From Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 medium-t0-large fresh pears
a 9-inch round cake pan
butter for greasing the pan (or use Baker's Joy) and dotting the cake
1 dozen cloves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Beat the eggs and milk together in a bowl. Add the sugar and a tiny pinch of salt, and continue to beat. Add the flour, mixing it in thoroughly to produce a compact cake batter.

Peel the pears, cut them lengthwise in two, scoop out the seeds and core, then cut them into thin slices.

Add them to the batter in the bowl, distributing them evenly.

Butter and flour your pan OR spray it with Baker's Joy. Put the batter into the pan, leveling it off with the back of a spoon or a spatula. Make numerous small hollows on top with a fingertip (ha! good luck. it's cake batter) and fill them with little bits of butter. Stud with the cloves, distributing them at random, but apart. Place the pan in the upper third of the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until the top has become lightly colored.

While it is still lukewarm, carefully loosen the tart from the bottom of the pan, lift it with spatulas, and transfer to a platter.

So tasty!

Other things for exclamation marks: Cooper-Young Beerfest this weekend!


  1. Looks yummy. But could you stir in ground coves instead of studding cake with whole cloves? I mean what does one do with a whole clove in their mouth!

  2. I just chewed it up... it was very clove-ey indeed. But I definitely think you could experiment with stirring in, say, a half-teaspoon of ground cloves.