walnut pear sour cream cake

Originally posted: Jan 2011

walnut pear sour cream cake

A long time ago I went for my first cooking lesson. My ‘teacher’ asked me what I wanted to learn how to cook and I said, I wanted to learn how to bake a cake. I’m not really a cake baker (and still am not) because I find cakes hard to get rid of. Cupcakes, muffins and cookies are a lot easier to distribute. I also (at that time) did not have much success with cake baking – cake rose in middle and ended up like a mini hill, cake did not bake evenly, you get the drift – cakes did not like me. But cake baking is an essential skill and part of being a baker, so I decided I needed to experience some success. I had a blast that afternoon learning techniques and tricks in basic cake baking and made a very nice cake – the sour cream pear and walnut cake. The taste was pretty much unforgettable – light, not too sweet and yummy. I always wanted to make it again but somehow never mustered up enough courage to do it. That is until this week.

With the exception of my very erratic hand mixer in which speed 1 feels like speed 5 (me needs my standing mixer stat!), the cake turned out well (in my opinion) for a first attempt (on my own). I just probably left it in the oven a tad too long, so it has a browner crust. I gave it an extra 10 minutes because I was scared it might be underdone. An hour should suffice.

Will be making this cake again!

Walnut Pear Sour Cream Cake

(taken from BHG)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup broken walnuts
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium pears, peeled, cored, and sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces dairy sour cream
  • 1/2 cup broken walnuts (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan or 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Combine the 1 cup nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon. For topping, cut the 1/4 cup butter into 1/3 cup flour to make coarse crumbs. Stir in 3/4 cup of the nut mixture. Set nut mixture and topping aside.

2. Toss pears with lemon juice; set aside. In a medium bowl combine the 1-3/4 cups flour, baking powder, soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl beat 1/2 cup butter with electric mixer 30 seconds. Beat in granulated sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to batter. Beat on low speed after each addition until combined.

3. Spread two-thirds batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with reserved nut mixture. Layer pears over top. Gently spread remaining batter over pears. Sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake 10 minutes. For a chunky top, sprinkle with 1/2 cup more nuts. Bake 45 to 50 minutes more or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Remove side of springform pan, if using. Cool at least 1 hour. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired. Makes 12 servings.

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