I’m convinced that someone came up with the first Banana bread recipe because they felt sorry for the old, dark, sad-looking bananas sitting in their fruit bowl and being thrifty, couldn’t bear to throw them out. I had the same feelings when gazing upon three slightly shabby looking Bosc Pears sitting in my fruit bowl. I had plans to poach them or just eat them for breakfast but somehow they were forgotten. I had a bunch of people coming over (as usual) and I thought it would be great to use up the pears in a cake. Who doesn’t like cake?
Instead of a frosting, I decided to go for a coffee cake like streusel topping and I must say it was a great choice. The cake turned out light and moist with delightful bites of the pear pieces. You might notice that I seem to use Cashews a lot in sweet or savory dishes. That is because my husband is allergic to all nuts except for cashews. So whenever I am going for a crunch in any dish, if I can’t use stir fried lentils or pine nuts (he’s not allergic to those) I go for the cashews. If you try this recipe you can use any type of nut in the streusel topping. The cashews tasted wonderful though and was a great complement to the pear flavor.
Here’s the recipe:
Sour Cream Pear Cake with Streusel Topping
6 tablespoons of butter (not quite a whole stick), softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 Bosc pears peeled and cut into small chunks
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp softened butter
2/3 cup cashews (or any type of nuts you’d like to use)
In a medium bowl mix together all the ingredients for the streusel until well mixed, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray.
Mix together flour, baking powder and soda. In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar and slowly add in eggs and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and the sour cream ending with the flour . Batter should be nice and smooth. Hand stir in the pears and spread batter evenly into the prepared cake pan. Top with streusel topping and bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Adapted from an old Good Housekeeping recipe