The garden has a pear tree in it, which I seem to curse more than anything else. Imagine walking along and having a rotting pear fall on your head or every time you open the door to go out, you having to shove many fallen pears out of the way, first world problems I know but still VERY annoying. As you can see, it is a large tree offering LOTS of fruit.
I started my search for recipes using pears, pears, pears and more pears and came across this Italian cake recipe, which sounded fantastic and I thought Id give it a go. Whilst it’s a Italian cake (because of the mascarpone), I’m calling it a Dutch Italian cake, as Im using Dutch pears.
Dutch Italian Cake
Makes: 1 large cake – serves 8-12 Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 45-60 mins Total time: 1 hour 15-30 mins
- 1½ (192g) cups flour
- 1/4 cup + 11/2 tablespoons (40g) cornstarch/cornflour
- ½ cup (60g) ground almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup (250g) mascarpone cheese
- 2½ tablespoons sunflower/vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 pears
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- extra cinnamon a sugar to top your cake with
Now how to make this amazing cake:
Pre-heat oven to 340° (170° celsius). Lightly grease and flour a 9″ (23 centimeter) cake pan ( I used a spring-form pan), or use a liner like I did.
1. Peel and core the pears, chop one pear into medium-sized cubes and slice the other pear in thin slices length wise, set aside.
2. Beat the eggs and sugar together until light and creamy. You can use a mixer at medium speed or your arm (I opted for this version to work on my bingo wings). I also whisked my eggs first before adding in the eggs, this doesn’t make a difference but give me peace of mind, not sure why…
3. Add mascarpone to the egg and sugar mixture and continue beating until smooth.
4. To the egg, sugar, cheese mixture, add in your dry ingredients. Stir in with a wooden spoon the flour, salt, corn starch, ground almonds, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda into the creamed mixture, stir gently to just combine. Do not over mix.
5. Add the oil to the batter and stir to just combine.
6. At this point, I scape down all the sides, for the final mix through. Fold in the medium-sized cubed pear pieces until just combined.
7. Spoon the cake batter into prepared cake pan.
8. Top your batter with the sliced pears (I had 3 left over), this can be done in any design but I decided to make mine ‘pretty’.
I then sprinkled with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon before putting in the oven.
9. Bake approximately 45 – 60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!
I had a friend coming over on the day and I was nervous about this recipe because I’d never made it before and she had never had my baking, but this was hit! I even sent her off to work with all the spare cake to feed to her colleagues at the Theatre she works at, they also really enjoyed it and are looking forward to my next baking adventure!
Remember to share with friends and enjoy!
Notes: I did actually add in almond extract, as I thought it would enhance the cake, please do NOT do this. It just make the cake taste of almond, which completely took away from the pears. Luckily Im in the Netherlands where almond is a beloved taste, so it wasn’t an issue as such but honestly, it did let down the cake.