12 Days of Cooking: Easy Cranberry and Pear Cake
Look, the title of this post starts with 'easy', so trust me when I say it is. The thing about the holidays is that they can just be pretty overwhelming. There always seems to be so much to do and people always seem to be rushing around, and for what? They don't even enjoy themselves - unless they're one of those 'look how busy I am' people.
I'm not one of those people. Christmas shopping? Meet my friends, Amazon and ASOS. Online shopping is so easy. Same goes for holiday cooking, really. Sure, some people will insist on doing some elaborate, three-tier Christmas cake with liquid nitrogen ice cream or what have you, but why? I mean, people basically want the same stuff at this time of year. Comforting, filling and yummy.
So, can we talk about this cake? It's sort of a weird one, but all good, I promise. The batter is kind of like a pancake batter? Then it's poured over the fruit mixture (no mixing). And then it gets this crusty, crunchy topping, kind of like a pie. But who cares when it's so good, right? I mean, I've already had like,
three four slices. Oh well.
This entire recipe is basically a Barefoot Contessa one, so when I say 'adapted from' I really mean I used a slightly different fruit and approximated the measurements in grams. Because that is simply the correct way. Sorry, Ina.
Easy Cranberry and Pear Cake
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten
300g fresh cranberries, rinsed and stems picked off (You could also use thawed frozen ones)
1 pear, peeled, cored and diced into 1cm cubes - I used a Conference pear, so anything that's sweet and soft-textured is good; You can also use a Granny Smith apple, like in the original recipe
80g light brown sugar
Zest and juice of one orange
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/8 teaspoon extra, separate
2 large eggs, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
115g unsalted butter, melted but cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
60ml sour cream
135g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Demerara sugar or granulated sugar
Preheat your oven to 165 degrees Celsius.
In a bowl, combine the cranberries, pear, brown sugar, orange zest and juice and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Set aside while you prepare the cake batter.
Either using the paddle attachment on an electric mixer or good old arm juice with a whisk, beat the eggs well combined and slightly frothy. This takes about 2 minutes on a medium-high speed on the electric mixer.
Turn your mixer down to medium, and mix in the caster sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, sour cream. Beat until just combined, then turn the mixer down to a low speed and add the flour and salt. Beat until combined.
Pour the fruit mixture into a 10-inch pie pan, then pour the cake batter over it. Try to cover all the fruit if you can, spreading the batter to be even.
Sprinkle the Demerara sugar and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon on top of the batter evenly. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, checking for doneness by inserting a skewer into the middle. It should come out clean.
This cake is really good served warm, with some cream or vanilla ice cream.