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Verses from my Kitchen: Cinnamon Poached Pear Cakes

May 17, 2011

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 send a text or two during the day checking in to see how she's enjoying herself and trying to get a grip on a time for her arrival. Nothing beats says welcome home more than a great meal, dessert and a bottle of red. So I keep shifting from one station to the next, back and forth again. I settle on dessert and just wait for the right time to start it. A lot of the initial flavour comes from the poaching step and the pear happily drinks up the liquid around it and gets nice and tender.

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!

Cinnamon Poached Pear Cakes

The Goods:

Poached Pears
  • 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
Poached Pears:
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Serves 4. 

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At May 17, 2011 at 8:11 AM , Anonymous Tes said...

What an elegant pear recipe! I will definitely try this soon :)

At May 17, 2011 at 8:14 AM , Anonymous SMITH BITES said...

just lovely Mike - the cake, the story, the writing - perfect!

At May 17, 2011 at 11:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike I just love how you describe your Sunday mornings, beautiful. The poached pear cakes are equally beautiful. love the presentation. Looks delicious.

At May 17, 2011 at 4:25 PM , Blogger Kimmy Bingham said...

I love the way you talk about your wife, it's so very sweet! We too, often have our hours of alone time on Sunday... it makes Sunday evening's dinner all that more special.

At May 17, 2011 at 8:10 PM , Blogger Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny said...

Wow these pictures are gorgeous and they look soo delicious! Pears are definitely my favorite, thanks for sharing :)

At May 17, 2011 at 8:36 PM , Anonymous Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} said...

These look fantastic! I think they epitomize a lazy Sunday afternoon. We've had a pattern of rain on the weekend and I can't think of a better treat!

At May 17, 2011 at 8:38 PM , Blogger Brian Samuels Photography said...

These look marvelous, Mike! I too can spend hours in the kitchen... and I just have no idea where the time has passed. Pretty incredible, isn't it?

At May 17, 2011 at 11:51 PM , Blogger PolaM said...

These pears look great! I love cakes where the main ingredient is fruit.

At May 18, 2011 at 7:00 AM , Blogger Sylvia said...

What a wonderful blog, great photos. Love fruit cakes

At May 18, 2011 at 8:11 AM , Blogger Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Such a stunning dish! I'm always impressed with your top notch photos...but your writing is superb, too. Thanks for sharing~

At May 18, 2011 at 12:48 PM , Blogger adorasbox said...

Reading this post made me relax. It seems that things are so calm and collected in your household. What bliss it must be to cook in solitude and enjoy every step of your recipe. It shows in your writing and photographs. Lovely recipe, too. Pear and almonds, a recipe made in heaven.

At May 18, 2011 at 1:23 PM , Anonymous RavieNomNoms said...

Wow, look at that...how gorgeous is that? Your pictures are so incredible!

At May 18, 2011 at 4:52 PM , Anonymous Kate@Diethood said...

Um... yes please! I'd love to have a few of those! I'm kinda speechless ...and drooling. Gorgeous and crazy delicious, I'm sure!

At May 18, 2011 at 7:34 PM , Anonymous Tiffany said...

What an enduring post! Your wife must feel so special :D! And these cakes look fantastic!

At May 18, 2011 at 8:12 PM , Blogger Sippity Sup said...

Those pears look as relaxed and comfy all snuggled inside that pillow. GREG

At May 20, 2011 at 1:43 AM , Anonymous GourmetGetaways said...

Oh golly gosh!!! I am speechless the dessert looks so scrumptious and the photos are just so elegant.

Would you mind if I use this recipe in an upcoming post, I will give you full credit for the recipe and the photographic inspiration.


At May 20, 2011 at 3:16 AM , Blogger Maria said...

I am with you on the Sunday mornings! For me they are my favourite time in the kitchen. These pear cakes look fantastic, I've made a similar dish with semolina, but poaching the pears sounds like a great idea!

At May 30, 2011 at 6:37 PM , Blogger Pretty. Good. Food. said...

This is gorgeous! Perfect to entertain with :)


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