Almond and pear cake (Κέικ με αμύγδαλα και αχλάδια)

Almond and Pear cake

A perfect fall dessert of delicious almonds and fresh pears.


If you’ve been here with us for a while, you may have read about our parents’ glorious and bountiful garden. Although our growing season here in Canada is limited, they make great use of the time we have and grow almost any vegetable you can imagine – and even some you can’t! But vegetables aren’t all they tend to.

Walking towards their garden from the house you’ll pass an array of fruit trees. When we were teenagers, we tried valiantly to convince our parents to install a pool in their back yard; they certainly had the room. We imagined pool parties, with poolside loungers scattered near the flowers and tomatoes, perhaps with the tall stalks of green beans providing shade, and snacks. We weren’t asking for much.

Almond and Pear cake

We were quite sure that we would get our way. Although our mother is not a swimmer, our father is a fish. From the time we were old enough to splash around our dad had us in the water; either the beaches when we were on vacation or the public pools in our neighbourhood. He is the one who taught us to love the water, and to swim, using his very own “sink or swim method”. He would help us float in the water by having a hand under our bellies; he would tell us to kick our legs and move our arms, and then, he would let go. You either sank, or you swam. Eventually we figured it out.

This easy access to public pools, a short pool season and a working class income which was carefully considered, meant that we never did get our way. Their sprawling backyard was never to be more than it is today – a lovely green space for their garden and fruit trees. A place for grandkids to run, for dogs to play and for impromptu family picnics in the shade of one of their many trees. Now when we visit and amble through their garden picking fresh plum, apples and pears, we’re quite glad that we never got our way.

The end of summer is when our parents pick all of the pears from their trees. Firm, green and plenty, they then deliver them to friends, family, and us. So many pears to deal with! This year we used some of these pears to offer our parents a treat. This almond and pear cake is similar to one they used to make for us, but which they haven’t made in years. One of those recipes that we think they may have forgotten about. When we surprised them with our cake a few weeks ago, we asked if it was similar to the one they used to make. Of course, they told us that it was much, much better. We’re not sure that this is true, but we do believe that this cake is great. We also believe that our parents are pretty great.

Almond and Pear cake

Helpful hints

What is the difference between almond flour and ground almonds?

In baking, if a recipe calls for either almond flour or ground almonds (also called almond meal), it is best not to make any substitutions. Although similar (they both come from ground almonds) these are two different ingredients. Almond flour is typically made from blanched almonds that have had their skins removed; it is also ground quite finely. Ground almonds on the other hand usually still have the skin and are more coarsely ground.

Can I make this cake a few days in advance?

You sure can! In fact we find that this cake actually tastes best the day after it is made. It will keep easily on your counter top for 2 to 3 days; any longer and you should keep your cake in the refrigerator. Otherwise, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then some aluminum foil (or placed in a large freezer bag), this cake freezes very well. To serve, thaw at room temperature and then dust with icing sugar.

Almond and Pear cake
Almond and Pear cake
Almond and Pear cake

Do you love cake with fruit in it? We’ve got these for you:

Blueberry almond cake

Orange and cranberry olive oil cake

Strawberry ricotta cake with olive oil

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Almond and Pear cake
Almond and Pear cake
Almond and Pear cake
Almond and Pear cake

Almond and pear cake (Κέικ με αμύγδαλα και αχλάδια)

A perfect fall dessert which combines the rich flavour of almonds with fresh pears.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: pear cake
Servings: 1 cake
Author: Mia Kouppa

Equipment

  • Stand mixer
  • hand held mixer
  • 9 inch spring form pan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (150 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups ground almonds (not almond flour) (125 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs yolks and whites separated
  • 1 cup sugar (200 grams)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (250 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup Greek plain yoghurt (125 grams) 2% milk fat recommended
  • 3 pears, ripe but not overripe peeled, cored, and cut into quarters lengthwise
  • flaked almonds for garnish
  • icing sugar for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and set rack in middle position
  • Combine your flour, ground almonds, baking powder, ground nutmeg and salt in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until well combined and then set aside.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer (or in another bowl if you will be using a hand held mixer) combine the egg yolks with the sugar. Beat at medium speed for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is a pale yellow colour. Slowly pour in the oil and almond extract. Beat until well combined.
  • With your mixer speed on low, carefully add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl containing the egg yolks, sugar and oil. Mix to combine and then add the Greek yoghurt. Be careful not to over mix.
  • In another bowl, using a hand held mixture, beat your egg whites until stiff peaks form. (See note if you will be using only a stand mixer). Using a rubber spatula gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
  • Grease a 9 inch spring form pan or round cake pan with some vegetable oil, and pour the batter into the pan.
  • Arrange the peeled and quartered pears in a circular pattern as shown in picture above. Use enough pears so that as much of the top surface of the batter is covered.
  • Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the pears.
  • Bake your cake in the middle rack of your oven for 60-65 minutes, until the cake is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle of your cake comes out clean. If after approximately 50 minutes the cake is getting too dark on top cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
  • When your cake is fully baked remove it from the oven. If you are using a spring form pan: Allow your cake to cool for 5 - 10 minutes. Slowly go around the edge of the cake with a knife to loosen it from the sides. Release the sides of the spring form pan from the pan base slowly and lift off. If using a regular cake pan: let your cake cool for 10-15 minutes, and then remove the cake from the pan by flipping it onto a wire rack. Then flip your cake over again as you want your pears and the sliced almonds to be on top.
  • Dust with icing sugar just before serving it.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

If you are only using a stand mixer you will have to transfer your cake batter to another bowl so that you can clean and thoroughly dry the bowl of your mixer in order to use it to beat your egg whites. Use the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer for best results.
 


6 thoughts on “Almond and pear cake (Κέικ με αμύγδαλα και αχλάδια)

  1. Hi. I’m Tom from Ireland. I’m new to baking and the pear and almond cake looks delicious. I’m going to try and make it.
    Would canned pears be suitable to use or would you only use fresh pears ?

    1. Thank you so much Tom. We are so glad that you found our site and that we are inspiring you to bake! Fresh pears would be best for this cake, but if all you have are canned, you can give those a try. You would have to pat them very dry before using them and then proceed as directed in the recipe. We hope that you do give this recipe a try, and that you love it! Let us know 🙂

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