Because I read a lot of American food blogs, sometimes I get a bit out of sync with the seasons. Lately online it's been all about turkey and cider and staying in where it's warm, when here in Sydney it's time for tee shirts, swims (to cool off) and summer fruit. I had my first mango for the season this week and it was magic. But! I wasn't waiting til next year to try this cake, especially when pears are so readily available everywhere. Caramel in colour and flavour with its combination of sweet fruit and sticky brown sugar, this cake is undeniably autumnal. The oil/butter blend makes for an extraordinarily soft and smooth texture, with chunks of pear nestled into the crumb for contrast. Warm spices - cardamom and cinnamon - infuse everything and the brown butter glaze is the perfect nutty note to end it all on. If a cake can be cosy, this is it.
Roasted pear cake with browned butter glaze
Recipe by Yossy Arefi for Food52
I used half the quantity of pears below, intending to make a smaller cake, but found that yielded exactly the 2 cups of pear purée needed for the full cake, which of course I then made without hesitation. If you can't find crème fraîche easily, you can make it yourself with cream and some yoghurt if you have a few days lead time. Click here to learn how.
2 1/2 pounds pears
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons sugar
juice from 1 lemon
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking (bicarb) soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons cardamom
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup crème fraîche
Turn the oven down to 350° F and grease and flour a bundt tin.
For the browned butter glaze:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
1 1/2 cups confectioners' (icing) sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons milk