If you have ever made Pear Butter yourself or received it as a gift, or found and bought it at a store, you will already know that this is a delicious spread on toast, French toast or pancakes or waffles. It can also be heated and spooned over vanilla ice cream. Simply delicious! When you make pear butter at home, you can add wonderful warm spices such as ginger, cinnamon, vanilla or even ground cloves or cardamom, whatever suits your taste best and feels just right at this time of year. You can either can the pear butter or store it in a jar in the refrigerator. But you can also use the pear butter in baking. It will add a wonderful flavor , golden color and a bit of a different sweetness to your baked goods.
Made with fragrant fall pears, new harvest walnuts and pear butter, this moist cake with a slight crunch from the semolina flour (or fine cornmeal) is easy to whip up for any family occasion.
Pear Semolina Loaf Cake with Pear Butter and Walnuts
- 6 eggs (L), free range or organic if possible
- 80 grams (1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp) super fine sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 200 grams (7 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus extra for buttering the pan
- 50 ml freshly squeezed orange juice (you can also use apple or pear juice)
- 3 tbsp pear butter (preferably homemade)
- one pinch fine sea salt
- 125 grams (1 cup) AP/plain flour, plus extra for flouring the pan
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 150 grams (1/2 plus 1/3 cup) semolina flour (or fine cornmeal)
- 50 grams (1/2 cup) shelled and chopped new harvest walnuts
- 2 ripe but still somewhat firm pears (you have to be able to grate them), I used Conference pears
- some confectioners´ sugar (optional)
- some pear butter
- loaf cake pan ( 30 x 11 centimetres/ 12 x 4.5 inches)
- parchment paper, preferably unbleached
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
2. Brush a loaf cake pan with butter. Line the base and side with parchment paper, butter and flour again, shacking out the excess.
3. Separate the eggs. Put the egg whites aside for a moment.
4. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat together the egg yolks, with the sugar, vanilla extract and butter until thick, yellow and creamy.
5. Scoop the pear butter into a small bowl, heat it ever so slightly in the microwave, add the juice and stir until combined. Then add the pear butter mixture to the creamed egg mixture and cream a bit more until all is combined.
6. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites together with a pinch of sea salt until stiff peaks form and set aside.
7. Sift together the flour, semolina flour, baking powder over the butter mixture and gently fold until just combined.
8. Peel the pears, quarter and core them. Then using the large holes of the box grater, grate the pears.
9. Using a spatula gently fold the grated pears, the egg whites and the walnuts into the batter, alternating.
10. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
11. Bake in oven for about 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. If the cake browns too quickly, cover with a piece of parchment paper and some aluminium foil.
12. Take the cake out of the oven and cool in the baking pan on a wire rack. Wait at least 30 minutes before taking out of the baking pan.
13. Cool completely before dusting with confectioners´ sugar and cutting into slices.
14. Serve with extra pear butter, if desired.
This Pear Semolina Loaf Cake with Pear Butter and Walnuts is a very “unassuming cake” but it does make a lovely teatime treat! And it is particularly wonderful if you serve some extra pear butter alongside the sliced cake!