So I’ve been MIA for the past month or so. I’m sorry! Things have been busy, and while I have had time to cook and eat, I didn’t have time to sit down and work on blog entries. This is about to change, I hope!
Anyway, today, I bring you one of my favourite cake recipes, which I recently adapted into a gluten-free version.
When I still lived at home, my mom would bake everyone cake for their birthdays, and it would always be Aunt Rosie’s Pear Cake (Tante Rösle’s Birnenkuchen). It’s a crispy, buttery crust, a quark filling with pear halves topped with a light meringue. Kind of like a light cheese cake.It’s always a huge success, at work and with family and friends. My husband also loves this cake and he asked me to make it for his birthday, just last week. Since his parents were coming on a surprise visit for his birthday and he had invited people coming over for coffee, I made this cake – and eclairs. Unfortunately, my husband ended up eating all the eclairs for his birthday breakfast. I had offered to make him pancakes, but considering the gigantic amounts of food in our fridge and his worry that we wouldn’t be able to eat it all before it spoilt, he declined. Since I could hardly argue with him without spoiling the surprise, I let him have it. But this cake, we did share with everyone else, and they loved it. It makes a perfect cake for summer/autumn, because it is refreshing and one of the lighter rich cakes out there. You can of course make it all year round, if you use canned pears, but it’s much more fun to eat this cake while sitting out on in the sun. You can, of course, use fresh pears, just make sure to give them a proper boil in sugary water before you do.
Ingredients for the crust:
250g gluten-free flour (I used one half Schaer Farine and one half Harina de Reposteria by AdPan)
½ tsp gluten-free agents (I use equal parts of xanthan and guar gums, carob and arrowroot flour)
110g butter (at room temperature)
1 egg (at room temperature)
1 dash of salt
1 tbsp baking powder
500g pear halves (canned or boiled by you; drained)
Ingredients for the filling:
3 egg yolks
1 package gluten-free vanilla pudding powder (what you would usually use for 500 ml milk)
500g Quark (I used low-fat – you could substitute with one part ricotta and one part joghurt)
250ml whipping cream
For the meringue:
3 egg whites
Place all of the ingredients for the crust in a bowl and knead them together into a firm, but smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and place into your fridge. Alternatively, you can already grease a springform tin and evenly spread out the dough on the bottom and on the sides. Then let the whole thing cool off in your fridge while you prepare the filling.
Heat your oven to 170° C.
In a second (clean) bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together until they result in a white-ish creamy mixture. This will take you five minutes or so, so I suggest not whisking by hand, but with the help of a machine! Add the quark, the whipping cream and the milk and blend well. Add the pudding powder and blend well, ensuring no lumps are left.
If you haven’t already, spread the dough crust out in your springform tin (bottom and sides). Place the pear halves onto the crust (I usually create a circle of pear halves and then place the remaining two pair halves in the middle).
Pour the liquid filling over it. Please don’t fret, it will be firm by the end of the baking process, trust me!
Place your cake into the middle rack of your oven and bake for 70 minutes (yes, one hour and ten minutes!). Just before the seventy minutes are over, beat your egg whites until firm and add the remaining sugar. Take your cake out of the oven (you can do a prick-test to see if the filling has firmed up; you can tell I did, hehehehe).
Evenly spread the beaten and sugar eggwhites on top of the cake. You can use a spatula to get rid of any unevenness or to create patterns. Then place the cake back into the oven and bake for another ten minutes (still at 170°C. Then remove cake from oven and allow to cool off completely. It is normal that the egg white topping will puff up a lot during baking and shrink once the cake has cooled off. Also, the cake will be covered in lots of golden drops, thus earning it is alternate name: Golden Drop Cake (Tröpchenkuchen).