Pear Cake with Grappa Sauce

Pear Cake with Grappa Sauce


For the Pear Cake:

1 and 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

1 and 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar

3 large eggs

1/3 cup milk

1 tablespoon grappa

1 firm-ripe pears

1/2 cup raisins or chopped pitted prunes

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted lightly and cooled

For the Grappa Sauce:

2 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon grappa


Prepare the Pear Cake:

Preheat oven to 350° F and lightly butter and flour an 8 and 1/2-inch springform pan, knocking out excess flour.

In a bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, and baking powder.

In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and 1 and 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy and beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating until just combined after each addition, and stir in grappa.

Peel and core pears and cut into 1/2-inch dice.

Fold pears into batter with raisins or prunes and pine nuts.

Pout batter into prepared pan and sprinkle top with remaining tablespoon sugar.

Bake cake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with crumbs adhering to it, 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool cake in pan on rack and remove side of pan.


Prepare the Grappa Sauce:

In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together eggs, sugar, and cinnamon until thick and pale.

In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water melt butter and stir in egg mixture.

Cook sauce, stirring constantly, until thickened and it registers 165° F on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes.

Remove bowl from pan and stir in cream and grappa.

Serve cake with warm sauce. Serves 6-8.

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