We wanted a great dessert to cap off our autumnal dinner with D and R, and this one fit the bill perfectly. The pears at our farmers market are in peak season, and the taste of a pear is just so evocative of fall.
This gingerbread is delicious -- dark and satisfying, but not too sweet. It really lets the ginger taste sing. And matching the gingerbread with a pear is a really lovely combination.
We did make one big alteration to this recipe, though, and we were very happy with the results!
As you can see below, the Gourmet recipe actually makes a cake with diced pear baked inside. We're sure that would be delicious -- the flavors would probably meld together even more.
But we were dying to try roasting a pear after hearing about on on a recent broadcast of the Splendid Table with Lynne Rossetto Kasper. It's a cinch -- add some lemon juice and sugar to some melted butter (we skipped the vanilla bean) and pour it over some pear halves in a roasting pan. Throw it in the oven and forget about it for 40 minutes.
The pear comes out warm and soft with a caramelized glaze -- and an intensified flavor. It's really delicious!
Whether you roast a pear or chop one up and bake it with the gingerbread, this is a delicious finale to a great fall meal.
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
Active time: 20 min
Start to finish: 1 hr
Fresh ginger and pear infuse a robust old-world favorite with newfound vibrancy.
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 stick unsalted butter
* 1/4 cup water
* 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
* 1/2 cup molasses (not robust or blackstrap)
* 3 large eggs
* 1/4 cup grated peeled ginger
* 1 Bosc pear
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan, knocking out excess.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt.
Melt butter with water.
Beat together brown sugar and molasses with an electric mixer until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well. Beat in flour mixture at low speed until just combined. Add butter mixture and ginger, beating just until smooth. Pour into cake pan.
Peel pear and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Scatter over batter. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool slightly.