Thursday, January 26, 2012

sour cream coffee cake with pears and walnuts

The annoying thing about following recipes is that you always end up with a large container of some obscure, random ingredient that you purchased for the sake of two tablespoons, only to stick in the pantry or in the back of the fridge, never to be seen or used again.

(See: apple cider vinegar for Madam Rosmerta's Butterbeer, buttermilk for Irish Soda Bread, or sour cream for Jamie Oliver's Green Goddess Salad Dressing.)


I'm clearly not the only person who finds this irritating and highly wasteful because my mother also requested that I find a recipe to use up the 7.9oz of sour cream remaining in the 8oz container. After poking around on Epicurious, I found a seemingly promising recipe for a sour cream coffee cake with pears and pecans, which I adapted due to our lack of pecans.

The recipe is included below. This coffee cake has a great flavor, but I'm warning you, it is a pain in the PATOOTIE to make, unless you have a sous chef around to pour everything into a separate bowl and stir everything in a separate bowl and clean up your five bajillion dishes when you're done. Yeesh. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Pears and Walnuts
Adapted from Bon Appetit | October 2003

Topping ingredients
1-1/2 cups walnuts
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Cake ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
3-4 pears, peeled and chopped

For topping:

Blend walnuts, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in food processor until walnuts are coarsely chopped. Add butter and pulse on and off until coarse crumbs form.

For cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

Using a mixer, beat butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add granulated and brown sugar and beat well. Beat in one egg at a time. Add lemon zest and vanilla extract.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a medium bowl.

Mix sour cream and milk in a separate bowl.

Beat in sour cream mixture with butter, alternating with dry ingredients, in three additions each.

Spread half of cake batter in baking dish. Sprinkle over half of crumb topping; cover with pears. Spread remaining batter over. Sprinkle remaining crumb topping.

Bake for about 50 minutes, until top is brown and cake tester comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan on rack. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.)

1 comment:

  1. It is pleasantly surprising to know it was a very delicious cake!! Well worth the efforts!