Sunday, February 28, 2010

Polenta Pear Cake

We had a causal Valentine's day this year, we went and got beer and burgers. I did get surprised with these beautiful flowers :) And I managed to make a simple little cake for dessert. It really doesn't get much easier than this cake, unless you're going to make it from a box. The cake is just a simple yellow cake with some cornmeal added, and then some sliced pears added on top. Sometimes the simplest things are the most delicious, and this is one of those times. Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Polenta and Pear Cake

Adapted from 1000 Italian Recipes by Marge Poore

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 large ripe pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

1. Heat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.
3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and gradually add the 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and lemon zest. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down bowl in between.
4. On low speed, add half of the dry ingredients. Stir in milk. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Remove from mixer and mix by hand until smooth and combined.
5. Spread batter in cake pan. Arrange the sliced pear on top, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake 35-45 minutes until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.
6. Serve warm, or store at room temperature until ready to eat.

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