It has been a long and dry week on the inspiration front. Creativity is muffled, the juices aren’t flowing and the spirit is down. I know we all go through this at times and it’s just a phase, but it takes its toll after a while. Many thoughts go through your head, and one recurring one is, I don’t want to do this anymore. Then the excuses start; I’m too busy, I don’t get paid, it’s too much work, it’s takes too much of my time and so on. Finally, the decision is made, and you are determined this time that you’re done. No sooner have you finished this thought, then the phone chimes to let you know of a new comment from a new blogger friend who is reading through your old posts. Then all hell breaks loose in your head.
As tempting as it was to give up and not bother, I couldn’t do that. My blog is a part of me now and if I leave it; I neglect myself. I neglect myself already too much, so I’m not adding my creative outlet to that list because not only will I lose a piece of me, I will lose all the lovely people I’ve come to know because of it.
It doesn’t help that I have been unwell but that’s the reality when you live with a chronic illness. The bad days can be bad to the point that nothing is worth the bother and the pain. Your family doesn’t always understand because to them you are invincible, there can never be anything wrong with you. The ones who do understand, are your friends. So, I’ve been getting by with the help of my friends here and absent friends via two hour phone calls. Also, I don’t want to forget my blogger friends who leave such cheery comments. Though they don’t know of my predicament; their words help more than they know.
The thought of giving this up was unbearable, so I didn’t. Today’s recipe isn’t very inspirational or original but it was so good, I had to share it. And that’s what it’s about, when I try something and it’s good, my first thought is, I have to tell the others about it. I didn’t intend to share this recipe, it was made for home consumption, but this Pear Blackberry Cake was fantastic.
I had made a similar cake a couple of weeks ago with apples and frozen blueberries and that was good too, but this time around I wanted to use a more seasonal blackberry apple combination. When I went to my fridge to get the apple, there were a couple of sad looking pears that needed to be used up. These gorgeous, organic, pears from the Colorado western slopes (available at my local farm stand, Isabelle Farm) are so sweet and juicy but like all pears, they bruise easily and look quite sorry when they’re not used up promptly. I exchanged my apple for the two pears and I have to say, this combination was even better than the last cake.
The cinnamon, brown sugar and pecan filling in the middle can be optional, but why would you not have it? It was the best part! When I asked Laith how he liked the cake, he said he loved the pecans. We didn’t eat the cake the day it was made, I was still deliberating taking photos of it and so I let it be. The next day, I went ahead and took the photos, whether I was going to post it or not, and then had a piece. I don’t know if it was letting it sit overnight or what, but the cake was so wonderfully moist and melt in your mouth. The crunch of the pecans, the caramelised sweetness of the brown sugar and cinnamon, it was like a cinnamon bun and cake combined.
I hope you utilise the blackberries that are still in the shops right now and the pears that are at their peak also. Use ripe, soft ones, I like Bartlett and those were the ones I had in my fridge. This a great recipe for either a Thanksgiving dessert or for a Thanksgiving morning breakfast or a leisurely autumn themed brunch if you don’t do Thanksgiving.
The cake goes perfectly with a cup of strong, organic, Fair Trade cup of coffee. If you’re in the Denver-Boulder area, you can find some great Fair Trade coffee at my local coffee roaster, Proper Grounds in Lafayette (BTW, I don’t get paid to pitch them but it’s such an excellent coffee spot that I will happily tell the world.)
So, on to the recipe; I made my cake in a bundt cake pan just because I wanted a pretty shape but you can use a rectangular pan (9×13) or a 10″ bundt cake pan (large pan). I am pretty sure you can make these into muffins too and add a streusel on top, but I haven’t tried that yet to confirm whether the recipe will work as written.
Serving size: 10
- ⅔ cups/105g organic, whole wheat pastry flour
- 1⅓ cups/190g organic, all purpose/plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups/300g cane sugar
- 1 stick/115g butter
- ¼ cup/60mL oil, neutral flavoured, I use avocado
- 1 cup/210g chopped fresh organic pears, about 2 medium size
- 1 cup/175g organic blackberries
- 1 cup/ 210g sour cream
- 3 eggs, large organic
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven 350℉/180℃.
- Grease a bundt pan or a 9x13 inch (24 x33 cm) pan with non stick spray or butter and flour.
- In a bowl, add the brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Toss together and put aside.
- Mix the flours, baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl and keep aside.
- In a mixer bowl or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the sour cream and mix until blended.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, till just mixed.
- Add the vanilla.
- Add the flour in batches until well blended.
- Don't over beat the cake.
- Fold in the pears and blackberries.
- Spread half the cake batter into the pan and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar peach mixture.
- You can use a knife and swirl gently.
- Add the rest of the batter over the top.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for at least 45-50 minutes.
- Check at 45 minutes and let bake if still wobbly or if knife inserted comes out gooey.
- It may take up to 60 minutes.
- Let cool on rack and then un-mould if using a bundt pan.
So, I hope you are all having a great week. I’m putting on my positive hat and getting through it. I’ll be catching up with my reading tonight, I know I’m behind visiting all of you guys’ wonderful posts.
Wishing you all a fabulous week ahead!