This is one of those cakes that doesn’t require a special occasion. Quite the opposite, as it is a favorite everyday kind of cake. The slightly sweet batter isn’t fussy and can be prepared in just a few minutes. Top with fresh pears (or other soft fruit, such as peaches) and a scattering of toasted almonds and you end up with the taste of almond and fruit in every incredibly moist bite. A great choice any day!
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup flour (all purpose)
- 1 1/4 ground almonds or almond meal
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 whole pears, ripe but firm
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- To toast almonds; spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a 350*oven for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Using a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
- Add the almond and vanilla extracts and the eggs (one at a time), beating well after each addition.
- Using a small bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Stir into the butter mixture. Evenly, spoon the batter, which is quite thick, into a buttered 9-inch spring-form pan.
- Peel the pears and cut in half. Remove the core and cut in half again. Place the pears with the tips pointed toward the center evenly on top of the cake. Scatter the toasted almonds over the top. Bake in a 350* oven 35-38 minutes. A butter knife or toothpick inserted in center of cake will come out clean when done.