Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pear Cake with Pine Nuts

I tore this recipe out of Cooking Light about 10 years ago. I am so glad I finally made it! Until now, I just never had pine nuts on hand but since I bought them for the pesto pasta salad, I knew it was the perfect time to make this cake! Now I know why I never had them on hand before - I think they're made of gold - at least the price would indicate as much! They are delicious whether in a salad or on a cake, so once you've taken the plunge and purchased them, you might as well use them. (I store them in the freezer to keep them fresh.)

This cake is kind of like a coffeecake but could also pass for dessert.

The first step of this cake is to cut butter into the flour mixture. My new favorite way to do this is with the food processor. You can also do it the "regular" way by using a pastry blender or your fingers.

Combine the flour, sugar,

and salt in a large bowl, or in your food processor.

Add the butter chunks (they need to be cold!)

and pulse a few times until the mixture resembles coarse meal - or use your fingers.

Remove 1/3 cup of the flour mixture to a small bowl, and add the cinnamon

and the pine nuts.

(Mine are in the same cake pan I'll use for this cake - I toasted the pine nuts while the oven was heating up. Be sure to watch carefully if you toast them in the oven - you do not want to burn them and have to use more of your precious pine nut inventory!)

Remove the rest of the flour mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the sour cream,

milk, egg, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla.

Beat on medium speed until well blended, then pour into a greased 9-inch round cake pan.

Peel and slice the pears.

Arrange the pear slices over the batter.

Give the topping mixture a good stir to incorporate the cinnamon and pine nuts, then sprinkle the topping over the pears.

Bake for 45 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

This cake freezes well - either whole, or cut in wedges and wrapped in plastic wrap.

Get more recipes that have fruit at the Ultimate Recipe Swap. Also be sure to visit Cooking Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays and Friday Food.

Pear Cake with Pine Nuts

1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
2 cups thinly sliced peeled pear

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor or large bowl. Pulse to combine or whisk well to combine. Cut in butter with a pastry blender, your fingers, or by pulsing several times until mixture resembles coarse meal. Remove 1/3 cup to a small bowl, stir in cinnamon and pine nuts.

Combine the remaining flour mixture, sour cream, milk, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda and egg in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.

Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch round cake pan. Arrange pear slices over the batter and sprinkle with topping.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Serves 8.


  1. What a unique recipe! This would be perfect over at my new Vegetarian Foodie Fridays linky. I invite you to come and link it up!

  2. I've never even seen pine nuts in our country grocery store! I wonder if I could substitute walnuts? The recipe looks so yummy!

  3. Looks luscious! I would love this with a cup of herbal tea. Thanks I'm off to make one for the weekend.

  4. Sara...this looks like MY kind of cake. I love pears and pinenuts. I'm going to find an occasion to make this soon :)



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