Recently, when I received a box of beautiful pears from the Hood River Valley, east of Portland, I was thrilled. Pairing (ha!) recipes to fruit, I poached several of them — some in wine, others in maple syrup — only to wonder why I had taken a perfectly delicious piece of fruit and made it into something overly sweet but not ultimately better.
The rest of the pears I ate out of hand, coupled with cheese, slipped into salad, and dropped into cake batter. This simple cake, in the tradition of coffee cake, easily adapts to various fruits and toppings. Serve warm with a glass of cold milk or cup of hot tea or coffee.