Author Notes: For someone who is not gluten intolerant I seem to do a lot of gluten-free cooking and baking. One reason is that Indian food, which is what I’m cooking around here 99% of the time, is a very easy cuisine for gluten free people to eat (not to mention vegans and vegetarians) without any change in recipes. I also happen to have a lot of friends who are either themselves celiacs, or who have kids with gluten intolerance. Since we do a lot of entertaining at our house it’s always easier to kill two birds with one gluten-free stone. Rather than making two desserts, one with and one without, I love to make one dessert that no matter what one’s dietary requirement, every diner can enjoy. That means making desserts gluten-free. I recently discovered this amazing Gluten Free Pear and Almond Cake recipe courtesy of USA Pears .
One look at this, and I couldn’t resist. I seemed to be the perfect dessert for our after the movie chai, and boy was it. It was also very simple to prepare which is a must for a weeknight. All you need are 4 pears and you’re good to go. —Kathy Gori
Pears of any variety. Ripe but not too ripe
tablespoon Fresh lemon juice
cups Almond meal (almond flour)
eggs at room temperature
teaspoons vanilla extract
tablespoon any neutral flavored vegetable oil (canola , grapeseed etc)
cup sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a baking rack in the dead center of the oven
- Lightly grease a 9 or 10 inch springform pan.
Place a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan.
Lightly grease the parchment paper also.
- In a food processor or stand mixer, mix together 3 and 1/4 cup of almond meal 1 and 3/4 cup of sugar.
Blend the almond meal and the sugar together lightly using your paddle attachment.
Set it aside.
Peel and core the pears.
Take 3 of the pears and chunk them up roughly. Set the fourth pear aside.
- Take the chunked up pears and put them in a small saucepan. Add in 2 Tsp of sugar.
- And 1 Tbs of lemon juice.
- Cover the pan of pears and cook them at medium heat for about 10 minutes or until they are soft.
- Mash the pears to a coarse puree and set them aside to cool a bit.
Meanwhile, back at the sugar almond meal mixture in your food processor or stand mixer….
Add in the eggs one at a time. Blend each of the eggs in well.
- Once the pears have cooled enough, add the pear puree to the eggs and flour and sugar.
- Add in 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
- When all the batter is mixed together, pour it into the prepared spring form pan. Set it aside.
In a small skillet heat the oil and the honey.
When they’re warm and blended together add in the sliced pears.
- Turn the pears over a few times in the honey oil mixture to coat them.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in 1/2 tsp of vanilla.
Make sure the pears are well coated.
- Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of sliced almonds over the top of the cake.
- Arrange the warmed pear slices in a pinwheel shape on top of the cake.
- Drizzle the juices in the bottom of the skillet over the top of the cake and the pear slices.
Pop the cake on a rack placed in the middle of the oven. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes (depending on your oven).
Check your cake after 35 minutes and if you find it’s getting too brown on top. You can put a bit of foil over it. I didn’t need to do this, but you might as all ovens are finicky in their own way.
When a toothpick is inserted in the center of the cake and comes out clean, it’s done.
- Put the cake pan on a cooling rack and let the cake rest for about 30 minutes in the spring form pan. After that you can remove the sides of the pan and put the cake on a serving plate.
You can remove the parchment paper before serving just in case some guest might get carried away. After all we’re not goats.
Cut it up and enjoy.
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Photo by Alan Berger
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Photo by Alan Berger