This delightful Fresh Pear Torta comes from my new favorite dessert cookbook, "All-American Desserts: 400 Star-Spangled, Razzle-Dazzle Recipes for America's Best Loved Desserts" by Judith M. Fertig. I have made a bunch of recipes from this gem of a book already and they all have been keepers. The Fresh Pear Torta is one of my personal favorites, as it is very easy to make and- as the name suggests- very fresh tasting. Do not omit the lemon zest- it really brings out the fresh pear flavor and makes this dessert "delicately delicious".
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus tablespoon (9 tbsps) unsalted butter, melted
5 or 6 ripe but firm pears, such as Bartlett, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides, tapping out the excess flour, and set aside.
- Pour 1 tbsp of the melted butter into a large skillet over medium heat and cook the pears until softened, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar into a large mixing bowl. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of melted butter, the whole eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and lemon zest. With a wooden spoon, stir the mixture into the dry ingredients and blend until smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold in the sauteed pears and their juices (if it looks like the juices they released are too much, strain first- you don't want a batter that is too thin). Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula.
- Bake the cake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan. Transfer to a cake plate and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
Recipe courtesy: "All-American Desserts: 400 Star-Spangled, Razzle-Dazzle Recipes for America's Best Loved Desserts" by Judith M. Fertig: All-American Desserts