Something Sweet for Mother's Day

Updated: May 12


Quarantine Baking




What week is it? I'm starting to have a hard time remembering what it was like before quarantine!

Going to the grocery store I would pick up an item or two and or just go to grab something for the particular meal I was making. Now with trips very rare, I stock up on everything that looks good and as my Grandmother often said " My eyes are sometimes bigger than my stomach".

Needless to say I have bought a lot of things in bulk and then realize, buying a lot of spinach works out way better than a bag of 20 pears or apples.

Of course, they all ripen at the same time!@#$%

I have an alternating system going on with my freezer so I take out replace....I have been baking with all those pears and apples I have bought and by request am sharing my recipes with you here.


Hope you like these delicious cakes. They all freeze well!


Like I said, I don't know what I was thinking when I bought a huge bag of pears?!??

I wasn't in the mood to make something complicated like a tart that might need a crust and filling. I came up with this simple loaf cake that can be made in one bowl. You could easily swap the pears for apples in this cake, but if you have apples, my favorite apple cake is below as well:)




Spiced Pear Cake

1 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for the pan

1 1/2 pear, peeled and chopped

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp ginger

1 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 large eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a loaf pan with oil. Coat it all over and sprinkle sugar al over the pan just to coat the surface.


Mix cinnamon, pepper, cardamon and ginger in a bowl. Add flour and baking powder and salt.


Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, vanilla. Mix well and add dry ingredients. Fold in pears. Transfer to your pan and sprinkle additional sugar on top. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Test to make sure center comes out clean.


Enjoy!


I also made pear chutney ( recipe below) with the extra pears. I had used it on top of grilled lamb and it was delicious. It also works fantastic on the cake. Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream would be a good extra.





Pear Chutney

2 pears peeled and chopped

1 cup apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

salt to taste

1/4 cup currants


Boil all ingredients together until the liquid evaporates. If your pears get soft too quick and liquid still full just drain a bit of the liquid off. It will congeal a bit as it cools as well.



My Grandma Bea made apple cake most Friday night's for dinner so I think of her when I serve a cake like this. While hers was more similar to the pear cake above, I often make this with her in mind and all those apple cakes I had at her house. I think I have been making this cake about 30 years:)!


If you have lots of apples, this is my favorite!




Applesauce Walnut Cake

2 cups flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 sticks butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup applesauce

( I make homemade for this- chop 3 apples, bit of cinnamon, about 3/4 cup sugar and enough water OR Calvados ( adds more flavor) to cover the apples, boil and puree)

1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 cup walnuts, chopped

3/4 cup currants


Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan well. Mix flour, cinnamon, soda, allspice, clove and salt. Beat butter in mixer, add sugars and blend well. Add eggs and applesauce. Add the dry ingredients and then blend in the sour cream. Once all mixed together add in walnuts and currants. Transfer to pan and bake 50-60 minutes. Check cake to make sure center comes out clean.


Last but not least

One of my favorite "tea" cakes is Elvis Presley's Favorite Pound Cake. Yes, that's the actual name on the recipe.





While I am from Memphis and Elvis is alive and well in my house most days ( Those who have been to my house sometimes see a reference to this):) it is truly the moistest, dense, tasty cake. Simple and delicious. One day I will make a "cake bar" with this as the base. It goes with anything. The pear compote would be great on top. Fresh berries and whipped cream equally delicious. Chocolate sauce and ice cream... it is perfect with anything but to be honest we eat it alone 99.9% of the time and we love it that way...it is everyone's favorite.


Elvis Cake

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for buttering pan

3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) plus additional for dusting

3/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups sugar

7 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup heavy cream


a 10-inch tube pan (4 1/2 inches deep; not with a removable bottom) or a 10-inch bundt pan (3 1/4 inches deep; 3-qt capacity

Put oven rack in middle position, but do not preheat oven.

Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour.

Sift together sifted flour (3 cups) and salt into a bowl. Repeat sifting into another bowl (flour will have been sifted 3 times total).


To be honest this sifting business is the original recipe...but I am way to lazy and or busy most of the time for that...and I never do it:)


Beat together butter (2 sticks) and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or 6 to 8 minutes with a handheld mixer.

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla.

Reduce speed to low and add half of flour, then all of cream, then remaining flour, mixing well after each addition.

Scrape down side of bowl, then beat at medium-high speed 5 minutes. Batter will become creamier and satiny.

Spoon batter into pan and rap pan against work surface once or twice to eliminate air bubbles.

Place pan in (cold) oven and turn oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in middle of cake comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool cake in pan on a rack 30 minutes. Run a thin knife around inner and outer edges of cake, then invert rack over pan and invert cake onto rack to cool completely.


Cake keeps, covered well with plastic wrap or in an airtight container, at room temperature 5 days.




Hope your Mother's Day was "sweet" and your quarantine baking delicious! Let me know what you bake and send me a picture of your cakes!

XOXO




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Carolyn Bender 
info@cbealifestyle.com

914-722-9094