It seems like everything is Gluten-Free these days. Why? I'm not sure anyone really knows ... but today I'm bringing you a luscious Gluten Free Almond Flour Cake made with delicious pears. YUM.
I, on the other hand, am decidedly not on the gluten-free ( nor paleo, nor coconut oil, nor bacon-only, nor eat-on-every-other-Tuesday ) bandwagon. I'm over all of the "good health" rain dances. I just want to eat good food -- and a variety of it! Preferably raised/grown locally, so that it is fresh and delicious when it gets to my home.
Truthfully, I really wouldn't find life worth living in a world without Organic Rosemary Sourdough Bread and the occasional pasta dish, anyway. Balance is what I strive for. Balance, plus way too much champagne. Let's leave it at that for the ranting today and suffice it to say that a gluten free almond flour cake isn't the type of thing I actively search out unless ...
... it is accidentally gluten-free ( and dairy free, and oil-free ). This matters for all of you gluten-free junkies because I wanted to eat this cake even though I could not care less about its gluten content. It's sweet, fruity, and rich. Really rich. The consistency is closer to a bread pudding than a classic wheat flour based cake, but that's what makes it special. The texture makes this cake feel decidedly French, even though the original recipe is from USA Pears.
Pear and Almond Cake
- 4 ripe but firm USA Pears
- 1 3/4 cups plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 1/4 cups finely ground blanched almond meal
- 8 large eggs
- 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch springform pan, and line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment.
- Peel and core the pears.
- Chop three of the pears roughly and cook in a covered saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes with the lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of sugar.
- Remove from the heat, and roughly mash the pears in to a puree. Let cool. You will want to end up with 2 cups of mashed pears to add to the cake.
- Put the almond meal and 1 ¾ cups of sugar in a food processor and pulse 4 or 5 times for approximately 3 seconds per pulse.
- Add the eggs, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla, and the cooked pears and puree the mixture. Pour into the prepared pan.
- In a small saucepan, heat the honey, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, and the water until the mixture bubbles.
- Slice the last remaining pear into 1/4" slices and add the slices to the hot honey mixture. Remove from the pan from the heat and toss gently to coat.
- Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top of the cake. Top with the sliced pears and spoon any remaining honey sauce over the top of the cake.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the cake is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then run the dull side of a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake, remove the sides of the pan, and serve.