Pear and Almond Cake

Pears. A summer fruit that you can enjoy through fall and even up to Christmas. It’s great as we begin to transition from summer to fall. When one thinks of pear, almond and spice usually come to mind.

Inspired by the cozy warmth you experience in fall, like spices and warm tea, I made this Pear and Almond tea cake. It’s super light, so perfect if the weather is still on the warmer side. For chillier weather, it is full of that nutty, gently spice flavor. The tea isn’t strong, but it provides just enough spice to create a baseline of warmth while letting the almond and pear to shine. Not to mention, this cake is super moist! So be careful when baking with fresh fruit, moisture that the fruit releases can easily become a bakers nightmare.

Pears can have such a light flavor that it can easily vanish in the cake. A tip to keep the moisture at bay while encouraging the pear flavor is to gently roast and dry out the pears. I bake them in a low oven for 30-60 minutes. It dries out the pear and concentrates the natural flavors.

I use tea to add moisture, some flavor, and a hint of acid. I use black tea with floral and citrus notes. You can use tea like an Earl Grey or try an orange Assam. Because this is going in the cake, you want to pick a tea with a strong flavor. I use tea bags in this recipe, but you can also use loose leaf tea. We’ll be adding tea leaves to the cake, so if using loose leaf tea, make sure to finely chop it or use a spice or coffee grinder.

There will be a lot of whisking in this recipe. This cake is between a sponge and a chiffon cake in texture. I recommend utilizing a hand mixer or using a stand mixer. Whisking by hand will be tiring yet doable. Also, you’re going to need a few big bowls. We’ll be mixing different ingredients separately before we combine. You’re going to also need a sifter to ensure a light batter.

Make sure your ingredients are room temperature. This will make the whisking easier, and a more even and controlled bake.

Lastly, we’ll be working with raising agents like baking soda and baking powder. They start working when introduced to liquid and acid. Make sure to have the oven preheating, and your baking tins prepped at the start. Once we start combining ingredients, we want to work fast to get the maximum rise.

Baking with cakes can be trickier than brownies. It’s more of a delicate science. Still, it’s not impossible or inaccessible. Use these directions as a guide. As your skill and confidence grow, start adding your own twist and experimenting. In the end, most bakes still come out delicious, and that is what matters the most!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pears
  • 3 tea bags
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp of almond extract

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 280F.
  2. Place 2 tea bags in 2/3 cup of hot water. Let brew for at least 30 minutes. The goal is to make a strong and intense tea brew.
  3. Separate the egg yolks from the white. Do not dispose of either.
  4. In a bowl, you want to whisk butter until it becomes light and creamy. This takes about 5 minutes. Then, gradually add your sugar to the butter while whisking.
  5. Once the sugar is whisked in add the almond extract and oil gradually. Then add in one egg yolk and while whisking. Once well combined add the next egg yolk.
  6. Once the egg yolks are well combined. Gradually pour the tea into the mix. Keep whisking to make an emulsion to create a smooth mixture.
  7. Then in another bowl place your egg white and whisk on high. You want to whisk it until it forms stiff peaks. This takes about 5 to 7 minutes of whisking. Keep an eye on it, as you do not want to over whisk the eggs. You know you have stiff peaks when you can place the bowl over your head the egg white doesn’t fall out.
  8. While the egg whites are mixing, you want gradually sift in the flour, tea leaves from 1 bag, salt, baking soda, and baking powder into the butter and egg yolk mixture. Make sure to add the ingredients in 3 stages and fully combine before adding more.
  9. Once the egg whites reach stiff peaks, gradually fold in the egg whites into the butter and flour mixture. Try folding in the eggs in three stages. Make sure to fold it in gently to reduce losing air bubbles and to combine everything fully, before adding more. 
  10. After all the egg whites are combined, gently fold in the chopped pear pieces.
  11. Next, pour into your cake tin. Make sure to smooth the top. Then bake for 35-40 minutes depending on your oven. You do not want to open the oven, until at least 30 minutes. This will help with the rise. The cake will be done, when you poke it with a knife and it comes out clean. Make sure to avoid pear pieces when you do.
  12. Cool it in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes. Then, you can remove the cake from the tin and cool it completely on the rack.
  13. Then serve. You can eat the cake as is or decorate it with some buttercream. I like to enjoy it as is with some apple or pear sauce on the side. 🙂

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