Gingerbread Pecan Pear Cake + Maple Caramel
Serves: serves 8-12
 
*if this cake is not eaten right away, store tightly wrapped in the fridge so that the pears do not make the cake soggy. This cake is best eaten warm, with the warm caramel drizzles on each slice. To reheat - microwave for about 20 seconds and cake will become pillow soft again. **To toast the pecan pieces - lay pecan pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees on the top rack of the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until they become lightly browned and nutty smelling. Watch carefully, as they can easily burn. Remove from oven and let cool.
Ingredients
  • FOR THE POACHED PEARS:
  • 2 cups Apple Cider
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 6 Whole Cloves
  • 3 small Pears, peeled (cored from the bottom up, if desired)
  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 12 tablespoons(1½ sticks) Salted Butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup Coconut Palm Sugar
  • ½ cup Molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2½ cups AP Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1½ teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 20+ Pecan Halves (about ½ cup) , sorted(choose the nicest looking nuts)
  • FOR THE MAPLE CARAMEL:
  • ¾ cup Maple Syrup
  • Pinch of Salt
  • ¾ cup Coconut Cream
  • 2 tablespoons Salted Butter
  • ½ cup Pecan Pieces, toasted**
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla
Instructions
  1. FOR THE POACHED PEARS:
  2. Place the cider, cinnamon stick, and cloves in a smaller saucepan with steep sides and bring to a boil. Add the pears, stem up, and reduce heat to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until pears are tender. Remove the pears and place on a paper towel to soak up extra liquid. Discard the poaching liquid or enjoy it as a hot apple cider while you finish the cake(you're welcome!).
  4. FOR THE CAKE:
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a large loaf pan.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the molasses and beat in. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until fully combined. Add the vanilla.
  7. In another bowl, whisk together the four, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger.
  8. Add half of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat in until just combined. Add the yogurt, mixing in until just combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix in, again, until just combined. Mixture will be very thick. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top.
  9. Carefully press the poached pears down into the batter, in a line(make sure that each pear is fully submerged in the batter, except for the tops, and that the pears do not touch the sides of the pan).
  10. line the exposed portion of the batter on the top of the pan with the pecans(see photos for example).
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Insert a tester into the cake to make sure it is cooked through.
  12. Serve warm with the caramel sauce(and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for good measure, of course).
  13. FOR THE MAPLE CARAMEL:
  14. Place the maple syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the maple syrup starts to caramelize and turn a deeper amber color. As soon as this happens, add the coconut cream, salt, and butter to the pan. Mixture will sputter and seize - continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes and it will melt back down. When the caramel is smooth and thick, remove from heat. Stir in the pecan pieces and vanilla.
  15. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat before using.
Recipe by The Kitchen McCabe at http://thekitchenmccabe.com/2017/11/12/gingerbread-pecan-pear-cake-maple-caramel/