I’ve recently warmed up to pears and what I usually do is cut them up, squeeze a lemon and chill them in the fridge before eating. There was one large pear sitting in my fridge and I figured I’d bake with it. I’ve always loved how sliced fruit is arranged on top of the cake in absolute symmetry looking nothing short of perfect. No, mine didn’t look like that. But it sure tasted pretty prefect. I have also realized how cream cheese can keep a dry cake moist and not add any of its strong flavour into it. I’ve only used yoghurt previously for the same purpose.
Oddly this cake smells of butter when it doesn’t have any. But the cinnamon fills the house with its wonderful smell and makes you want to cut into the cake while it’s still hot. You could substitute the pear with apples, the cream cheese with thick yoghurt or mascarpone cheese and the oil with melted butter. It does take over an hour to bake this cake but I tell you it’s totally worth it. I kept it for a tad longer to get that lovely golden crust like top. I have also drizzled some dulce de leche on it but you can completely omit that. Simply dust with icing sugar and serve with coffee (for breakfast?).
One cake – 8 generous slices
1 hour (5 – 10 mins longer if you like it really brown)
Flour – 1 and 1/2 cups (200 gm)
Cornflour – 2 tbsp
Sugar – 3/4 cup (180 gm) + 2 tbsp
Eggs – 3
Vanilla – 1 tsp
Cream cheese – 1/2 cup (soft and whisked)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Pear – 1 (half sliced, half cubed)
Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp + 1 tsp
Baking powder – 1 and 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Preheat oven at 180 degrees C.
Mix flour, cinnamon powder, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Whisk cream cheese with a fork and keep aside. If it’s too thick add a tsp of milk to loosen it.
Using your hand mixer whisk eggs and sugar till light and fluffy. You want it to become thick and pale.
At this point add the cream cheese, oil and vanilla, and gently mix it.
Add the flour mixture and fold it into the batter.
Mix the pear cubes in as well.
Line your 8 or 9 inch baking tin with parchment paper and pour the batter in.
Place pear slices on top of the batter and sprinkle around 2 tbsp sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon powder on it.
Bake for an hour or till the top has browned and centre is cooked through.