Is it just me or are a lot of cooking and recipe videos floating around social media really annoying and obnoxious? I know music is copyrighted and there’s a limited pool of free-use songs, but it seems like everyone picks the same obnoxious song. Since I couldn’t really find the cooking videos that I liked to watch, I decided to make my own. No music that makes you want to pull your hair out. While some people are fantastic talkers, a lot have really awkwardly scripted dialogue and conversation, so I nixed that in my videos. It’s just the sounds of cooking.
When I’m in the kitchen, that is my meditation time. I find it relaxing and peaceful to just hear the sounds of cooking. This is what I wanted to share in my videos. There are two versions – a longer one for those who want to feel like you’re right there in the kitchen watching me make everything from scratch and a shorter one for those who want to just see the basics of how the recipe comes together.
With the end of year holidays approaching, that means it’s pear season. Everyone loves the taste of cinnamon and cloves for the holidays. I love making holiday treats that are not made with the usual spices. Something a little different, but still taste like the holidays. So I adapted the recipe for a French apple cake and decided to make it with pears. This cake has pistachio nuts on top for texture and a bit of cardamom to add a light, slightly citrus-like spice.
First, lets talk pears! The one on the left is a Warren pear, which is local to California. On the right is a Seckle pear. Both of them are firm fleshed pears and are perfect for baking or cooking with. For this recipe, I used the Seckle pear. And since they’re so much smaller, I needed to use more. You can use any type of firm-fleshed pear for this recipe, such as Bosc, Red Anjou, or D’anjou.
After slicing and removing the core from the pears, you want to put them in lemon water to prevent them from turning brown. Then you go on to make the batter for the cake, which is thin so it can surround each pear slice. The cake bakes at a low temperature for a longer time so that it has time to set up. And the pistachios on top are there to give a nice texture to the cake.
Cardamom Pistachio Pear Cake
- 6 Seckle pears (or 2 larger variety pears such as Warren, Bosc, Red Anjou, or D’anjou)
- A bowl of cold water with lemon juice
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 70 grams (1/3 of a cup) of white sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 100 ml (6.5 tablespoons) of whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 dashes (approximately ¼ of a teaspoon) ground cardamom
- A pinch of salt
- 90 grams (roughly 2/3 of a cup) of all purpose flour
- A handful of shells pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 335° F.
- Slice pears and remove the core/seeds before placing the slices into the bowl of lemon water to prevent browning/oxidation.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and white sugar until pale, thickened, and foamy.
- Add melted butter, milk, vanilla, cardamom, and salt to the egg and sugar mixture. Whisk together until well combined.
- Measure out the flour, then sift it into the egg mixture. Whisk together until combined.
- Drain the pear slices and shake off excess water. Place the slices into the cake batter and ensure that each is well coated.
- In a nonstick loaf pan sprayed with nonstick spray, arrange the pear slices in layers.
- Pour batter over the pears, shaking and tapping the pan to ensure that the batter settles between all the slices.
- Sprinkle chopped pistachios over the top of the batter and pears.
- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 50 minutes.
- When done, let cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing the cake and transferring it to a cooling rack.
- Serve warm or for easier slicing, let cool completely….but really, who can resist warm cake?
The cake looks super fancy, but is easy to put together. If you take your time to arrange your pear slices nicely, the results come out a lot better than just dumping them into the baking pan. Enjoy!