When visiting France, you’d likely eat your body weight in croissants, baguettes and eclairs, but there are so many rustic dishes that are made in homes that aren’t often sold in stores, they’re the ones that take a bit of digging and are often surprisingly simple.
I have to be honest in all the years of research that I hadn’t recalled ever seeing this recipe. Maybe it just so homey that I didn’t pay attention to how unique today’s recipe is. I couldn’t seem to find the origin of this cake that has oil and milk and has a bite of pear right smack bang in the middle where you would usually find a fudgy centre is in this case a fudgy pear centre.
The recipe this cake is adapted from noted right at the bottom “the more pears the better.” A statement that wasn’t immediately clear until the first time I recipe tested this and once baked and sliced open it revealed the fruit hidden within…there just wasn’t enough pears in that first cake.
The lesson: Always read all the instructions…I’m awful at that and it proved a vital sentence to read, because pears in their sweet and soft flavor are the kind of surprise you would want to bite into in a large way and that’s exactly what you get here.
Gateau Fondant aux Poires – French Pear Fondant Cake
Adapted from marmiton.org
1/2 cup superfine/caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons oil
2 large pears, peeled, cored and finely sliced
80 grams/2.8 ounces butter, melted
3 tablespoons superfine/caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and greaseproof a cake tin.
Place the sugar, 2 eggs and pinch of salt in a bowl and whisk to until combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, milk and oil and whisk until it is a smooth batter.
Pour half the batter into the base of your baking tin and lay your sliced pears on top around the baking tin, layering as necessary.
Pour the remaining batter over the top and tap gently onto your bench to bring the bubbles to the surface.
Place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the remaining egg and 3 tablespoons sugar until combined and slightly lighter in color. Carefully whisk the melted butter into the egg to combine smoothly.
Remove the cake from the oven and pour the butter mixture on top, returning to the oven for a further 20 minutes or until golden all over.
Remove and allow to cool before removing from the tin.
Sprinkle a little confectioner’s sugar over the top, slice and serve.