|Yield||1 Bundt cake|
Use firm-ripe Bartlett pears for this cake. When you press the blossom end of the pear with your thumb, it should yield to gentle pressure. Softer pears will immediately turn to a watery purée if you try to grate them. This cake, and the apple variation that follow it, utilize the grated fruit as a means of retaining moisture in the baked cake. While each contributes a dimension of flavor to the cake, it’s one that successfully blends with the seasonings to create a moist, harmonious finished product. Neither is anything like biting into a ripe pear or apple.
|~||Butter, fine dry breadcrumbs, and vegetable cooking spray for coating the pan (see Note)|
|3||cups all-purpose flour (spoon into a dry-measure cup and level off)|
|1½||tsp. baking soda|
|2||tsp. ground ginger|
|1||tsp. ground cinnamon|
|½||tsp. freshly grated nutmeg|
|¼||tsp. ground cloves|
|5||large eggs, at room temperature|
|1||Tbsp. vanilla extract|
|1½||cups vegetable oil (see Note)|
|⅓||cup finely minced crystallized ginger|
|4||cups peeled and chopped or grated Bartlett pears, about 2 pounds or 4 medium pears (see Note)|
|~||Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)|
Store the cake under a cake dome or covered with plastic wrap at room temperature. Double-wrap the cake and freeze it for longer storage. Defrost and bring to room temperature before serving.
You may replace half of the vegetable oil with melted butter.
Variation: Apple Spice Cake. Replace the pears with peeled and grated Granny Smith apples. Omit the ground ginger and crystallized ginger and fold in 1 cup each of coarsely chopped walnut or pecan pieces and dark or golden raisins after the last of the dry ingredients.
Culinate editor’s notes: If you don’t have fine dry breadcrumbs on hand, you can simply butter the pan and dust it with flour. If you need to grind your own breadcrumbs, do so in a food processor, then use the processor to grate the peeled, cored, and sliced pears.
This content is from the book Bake! by Nick Malgieri.
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