T Minus Two Days Until Turkey Day. What are you doing today? Still kicking it busy at work like me? Cleaning your house and trying to create more space for the people who are coming oh so soon? Furiously shopping and making side dishes and dessert ahead of time?
Whatever you’re doing, I hope that you can take a moment. Step back, take a deep breath. Grow in gratefulness. All the hubbub and preparation is good, but it’s the means, not the end. It is much better to take shortcuts, ask for help and to prepare with JOY rather than being stressed and anxious.
This is a lesson I have to remind myself of often. I’m hosting my first Thanksgiving in a few weeks for The Oaks full-time staff and elders. So even though my preparation is a little while off, I will be trying to work hard to serve and love others through this, making God’s name great, and not seeking my own glory.
Now let’s make Pear Spice Cake! I made this in a 9×13 instead of Bundt, doubled the spices and topping. Make sure to cut your pears up really small and bake this all the way through!!! I did the toothpick test at 40 minutes and there were no crumbs on my cake. However when I tried to pour it out of the Bundt, some of it was unbaked.** Oops!!! Hence another reason I’m doing it in a 9×13 pan:)
Slightly Adapted from Joy the Baker; adapted from Gourmet, December 1992
- 1 c. walnuts
- 2-3 pears, cored and chopped into small 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces (about 2-3 c. fruit) I used Bartlett pears – yummy!!
- Extra sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling
- 2 c. flour
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 2 sticks (1 c.) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 c. sugar
- 2 T. cinnamon
- 1 T. nutmeg
- 1 T. allspice
- 1/2 T. ginger
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 2 T. vanilla
- 1 c. buttermilk
Directions for Cake:
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toast walnuts for about 5-10 minutes until they smell toasted. Take out of oven and let cool, then chop into small pieces. Set aside.
- Cut your pears and set aside.
- Spray pam on 9×13 inch pan (or Bundt if you’d like). Now, generously sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on the bottom and the sides.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
- Beat together butter, sugar, and spices at medium high speed until fluffy – about 3-5 minutes.
- Separate eggs. Add yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Add in vanilla and mix in. Reduce speed to low. Add in 1/3 of the flour, then mix well. Add in 1/3 of the buttermilk, mixing well. Alternate between the flour mixture and buttermilk until all added and thoroughly combined.
- Using a rubber scraper or wooden spoon, gently fold in pears and walnuts.
- Beat egg whites with an electric beater. (Don’t try to be a hero. I always try to use a whisk and then after 15 minutes and a sore wrist, I always come to my senses.) You want them to just barely form stiff peaks. This means the eggs will be white, foamy and thick. When you take the beater out, the egg whites will pull up into a peak and stay there briefly.
- Fold in egg whites gently, ensuring they are well combined.
- Pour or spoon batter into your pan. Smooth out the top. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Mine was 40. It is done when it is no longer jiggly in the middle, is golden brown all over and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
- 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 2 sticks (1 c.) salted butter
- 1/2 c. whipping cream
- 3/4- 1 1/2 c. toasted walnuts, roughly chopped (Depending on your preference)
- Melt butter on the stove top on medium high heat.
- Add in sugar and whipping cream and stir until smooth.
- Boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
- Stir in walnut pieces. Pour over cake.
- Serve warm topping over warm cake! (or room temperature. You can also heat it up if serving later – yummy!)
**We ALL have food failures and flops sometimes! Just shrug it off and keep on plugging!! **