Happy Valentines Day to everyone out there who celebrates it! With my Birthday in February and our anniversary in March, we have more than enough Lovin' happening at this time of the year so are happy to sit this day out and leave Feb 14th to you!!
Even though I don't officially celebrate the Feast of Saint Valentine on this one particular day each year, doesn't mean I that I don't express my love for my loves in my way, with food (and I don't miss out on all things heart-shaped either (
I have always expressed love through food. It is how I care, comfort, celebrate and love.
It is kind of like a book of Maddie's (Hug Time, I've mentioned it
), in which the little cat tries to go around the whole world hugging everyone, and finishes with this...
"The world is so big...And yet so small, It's time that we embrace it all. That's something that we all can do. Start with the one who's closest to you"
And so I bake. And cook. And embrace the
one's who are closest to me,
by cooking and baking with all of my heart.
I wanted to share this recipe today because it is how I am loving on you for reading meg-made, commenting, emailing and supporting me. I express my appreciation and love with food, so this particular Valentines Day I share with you a new favourite and delicious sweet treat!
I have started really experimenting with my Gluten Free cakes lately, mostly using almond meal/flour as the base flour. The tried and tested
a winner, so next I tried a
cake, and that too was a winner. So when I found a recipe for a GF Pear & Almond cake I knew I had to give that a try too. And it too, did not disappoint.
The first clear sign that I was onto something good was the titled of the blog where I found it, Momma's Gotta Bake! I love it! The number of times I've said this to my husband in the past two years when I've been stressed out of my whits and needed to relax, "can you watch Maddie for a bit honey, Mama's gotta bake!!". It was where I went to when I needed my happy, quiet and therapeutic space.
This recipe is directly from
the only change I made was that I only made half the recipe (big mistake that turned out to be!!).
4 pears, any kind, 3 for batter 1 for topping
1 3/4 cups sugar plus additional 3 teaspoons
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 1/4 cups ground almond meal
8 large eggs, room temp
1 teaspoon, plus additional 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon neutral tasting oil (like canola or grape seed)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and place the rack in the center position. Spray a 10″ spring form pan with cooking spray. PAM original cooking spray is gluten free, however PAM Spray for Baking is not. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit on the bottom of the spring form pan.
- For my cake, I used Bartlett, Anjou and Bosc pears, but any firm ripe pear will work. Peel and core the three pears and then roughly chop them. Place the chopped pears into a small saucepan and add the lemon juice and 3 teaspoons of sugar. Cook the pears over medium heat in the covered pan for 10 minutes. Let cool. When cooled, mash the pears with a fork into a coarse puree.
- Place the almond meal and 1 3/4 cups sugar in the bowl of a large food processor, and give it 5-6 long pulses. (This makes a large quantity of batter, so you’ll need a large food processor, not the mini kind). Add the eggs one at a time, along with 1 teaspoon of vanilla and the pear puree. Pulse until all ingredients are incorporated. Alternately, if you don’t have a food processor, you can use an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pour the batter into the spring form pan.
- Next, peel and core the fourth pear and slice it into 1/4″ slices. In a medium skillet, heat the oil and the honey stirring until the mixture begins to bubble. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla. Add the pear slices and toss gently to coat.
- Sprinkle the almonds over the top of the cake, and add the pear slices in a pinwheel shape. Spoon the remaining sauce in the pan over the top of the cake. Bake for 55-65 minutes until the cake begins to brown and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. As my cake was starting to brown too much, I placed some foil over the top for the last 10 minutes of baking. Keep in mind that all ovens are different so the baking time is an estimate.
(Here's my little foil creation that I put around and on top of my cake to continue cooking the middle, without overcooking the outsides....)
Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes and then you can remove the sides.
Plus = No GF floury taste, moist yet light, love the honey'd pear on top!
Minus = Only that I made 1/2 batch
Interesting = It's like an apple tea cake, but with pear!!
I wish you a happy Valentines Day today and hope you are embracing the one who's closest to you!
Psst!! If you are looking for a little more meg-made, I'd LOVE for you to follow along!