Cinnamon Poached Pear Cakes
Sunday and I have a love affair going. It's no secret. I long for the day in the week when errands have been crossed off, work has been set aside for another day and I can just get lost in my kitchen. Sunday dinners are my favourite meal of the week because I have time to throw my love into it. My heart steers my actions, my actions follow along. And this Sunday was the same as those before it. One step blindly following the other with familiarity as it's guide.
I heard the alarm clock go off and as quickly and gently as possible reached over to quiet the morning noise. I knew my wife had a wedding shower to attend and we had limited face time with each other, so I soaked up the morning and hoped it would bleed into the afternoon. Wishful, maybe. I love the serenity of Sunday mornings and the only sound I want to hear are the birds chirping in the forest out back and my wife softly breathing beside me.
Her eyes fought the light and asked what time it was. I always say it's earlier than it is so she'll rest longer. I know deep inside that I do it as much for myself as I do it for her. One lean over me to see the bright numbers on the clock put the day into motion. A woman needs time to get ready, right? So I cusped my hands and folded my arms behind my head and enjoyed the leisure pace of my wife getting ready. And I danced with the idea of a bit more sleep.
I left her to her morning rituals and went downstairs to discover we were out of coffee. Thankfully, we both like morning tea so I steeped a pot to get us through the beginning of the day. No matter what we do, it has to start with a pick-me-up to remind us we're alive and ready for a new day.
Around lunch time I saw my wife off at the front door and waved as she drove away. It's just a thing we do. And faced with a few hours of alone time, I went back to the one place in the house everybody knows to find me in. Hours pass me by when I'm in the kitchen and it isn't unusual to look up and wonder where the time went. I love being afforded the luxury to happily waste my time away.
I make a batch of batter next for the cake. Some sugar, cinnamon, butter, vanilla, heavy cream, eggs and flour. The taste of this alone has me dreaming of the reaction when it all works together. The batter has the consistency of pancake batter and pours softly into my dishes. Once in I add the pears and press down. At this point the dish looks lovely so I sit with bated breath for the final product.
I put the main course on the table and pour a glass of red for my wife. We can finally enjoy the day, no matter how short it is at this point. I pull out this cake from the oven and bring it to the table. I now have some face time with my wife and, as if the clock turned back to that early morning in bed, I cusped my hands behind my head and enjoy the leisure pace of my wife at the table in front of me.
From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!
- 4 pears, peeled
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 cloves
- 1 tbsp. allspice
- 4 cups water
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar
- 4 tbsp. butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1/4 cup flour, sifted
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- Place the pears, sugar, spices and water in a large saucepan. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes, or until the pears are just tender. Remove from the liquid and cool.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a large mixing bowl place the sugar, butter, vanilla, cream, egg yolks, ground almond and flour in the bowl and using an electric mixer beat until smooth. In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the batter and fold until combined.
- Spoon the batter into your 1.5 cup ramekins until 1/2 full. Top with a poached pear and press down until the pear touches the base and the bottom third is submerged. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling has firmed up and coloured. Remove and cool.
- Serves 4.