For this decadent dessert, a sticky caramel-nut mixture is poured over the top of a pear-flecked butter cake. The brown sugar in the cake batter amplifies the caramel flavor, while pear nectar heightens the taste of the fruit.
Pear-Walnut Sticky Cake
For the cake:
Unsalted butter for greasing
1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (5 1⁄2 oz. /170 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) pear nectar
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
For the topping:
1 cup (4 oz./125 g) toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter
1 Tbs. whole milk
To make the cake, preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan and tap out the excess flour.
Over a sheet of parchment paper, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the brown sugar, melted butter, eggs and pear nectar on medium speed until blended, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined and then the pear. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack.
To make the topping, in a saucepan, combine the walnuts, brown sugar, butter and milk. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and then continue to boil, stirring frequently, until the mixture is reduced to a thick, saucelike consistency, about 3 minutes. Pour the hot mixture over the hot cake in the pan. Let stand for 3 minutes.
Release the pan sides and place the cake on a plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm. Serves 8 to 10.
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