Gluten Free Pear Almond Cake Recipe
Imagine for a second the aroma of pears, almonds and vanilla wafting through your home. Pretty good, huh? Ok, now imagine yourself biting into a piece of a moist, buttery cake flavored with pears and scented with vanilla. Even better right? Finally imagine that said cake is not only gluten-free but grain-free and, despite the buttery flavor, has not a speck of dairy! That’s not just good, that’s great!
Well, no need to imagine, just bake up this ridiculously simple cake and experience for yourself exactly how happy I was this past weekend eating more than my fair share of Pear Almond Cake.
Pears and almonds have a natural affinity for one another and as I mentioned before, this cake somehow winds up being amazingly buttery even though it is completely dairy-free and does not even use a dairy-free butter substitute.
This cake is insanely delicious as is, but if you want to glam-it up a bit, how about trying some of Amy’s Raw Cashew Cream or serve it warm with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream. If dairy is not an issue, some lightly whipped, unsweetened heavy cream on top is divine!
As a little side note, the method I used to prepare the pears also makes a great, quick side to serve along side some brined pork chops!
- 4 ripe but firm Pears – use divided
- 1¾ cups plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar – use divided
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3¼ cups finely ground blanched almond meal
- 8 large eggs
- 1¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract – use divided
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed – (or other neutral tasting) oil
- ½ cup sliced almonds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 or 10 inch springform pan with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray. Cut a circle of parchment to fit the bottom of the pan, place in the pan and spray it lightly with more cooking spray.
Peel and core the pears. Chop three of the pears roughly and slice the fourth into about ¼ inch slices. Take the chopped pears and put in a small, microwavable bowl with 2 teaspoons of sugar and the lemon juice. Cover and microwave on high power for 4 minutes. (Alternatively you can cook on the stove for 10 minutes over medium heat in a covered saucepan.) Mash the pears into a coarse puree with a fork or wooden spoon. Let cool.
Put the almond meal and 1¾ cups of sugar in a food processor and give it 4 or 5 long pulses. Add the eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the cooked pears and puree the mixture. Pour into the prepared pan.
In a small skillet, heat the agave or honey with the oil, stirring to mix until the mixture starts to bubble. Take off the heat and stir in the remaining ¼ teaspoon of vanilla. Add the pear slices and toss gently to coat.
Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top of the cake. Add the pear slices in a spoke configuration and spoon the agave or honey/oil mixture over the top of the cake.
Bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until the cake is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Check the cake after about 35 minutes, if it is browning too much, place a piece of foil over the top.
Let the cake cool in the pan for about 30 minutes then remove the sides of the pan and transfer to a serving platter (removing the parchment is optional but recommended). The cake is best served slightly warm.
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