Happy extremely belated New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I’ve been too busy for words between midterms, trying to figure out travel arrangements for auditions, and practicing lots and lots. But, I finished my last midterm today, and now comes a much deserved 5 day weekend after a long first semester. I can’t wait for my last semester of high school!
While I love making things that I can whip up with the ingredients that I have, my favorite thing to do is to look up recipes and then being able to create something with more than just peanut butter, oatmeal and chocolate chips. Now I don’t mean having to ship stuff halfway across the world, but using what’s local and in season is one of my goals, which is why I love summer baking so much- lots of produce, lots of in season baking. Winter baking is a little harder, but I think this cake hits the nail on the head. (or, takes the cake :)
I have made a pudding cake in the past, but this one is a little bit different. It has the moistness almost like a clafoutis or a dutch baby, but stays together like a cake. The pears add a nice sweetness while the almonds create a great textural contrast to the otherwise soft cake. I would recommend adding the dried cranberries, but it’s up to you! Oh winter baking, how I love you…
Ozark Pudding Cake: From Vintage Cakes
- 2 ripe but firm pears, peeled, quartered, and cored
- 1 cup (5 ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (7 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) sliced natural almonds, toasted
- 1/2 cup (2.25 ounces) dried cranberries, optional
- Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 11 x 7 baking dish (a square pan will work too). Finely chop one of the pears and thinly slice the other. Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, and salt into a bowl.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend the buter and sugar together on medium speed until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the egg and vanilla and blend on medium-high speed until fluffy, around 5 minutes, Scrape down the bowl occasionally as needed. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture all at once. Mix until just blended, the batter will be stiff.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chopped pear (set aside the sliced pears for the top), half the almonds and cranberries and stir until just blended. Dump the batter into the prepared dish and spread it in an even layer. Arrange the pear slices on top of the batter and sprinkle with the remaining almonds and the remaining teaspoon of sugar.
- Place the skillet in the middle of the oven and bake until the cake is golden in color and the center springs back when lightly touched, 38-40 minutes. Enjoy!
A quick cake to brighten up the dull and dreary winter. :)