Delivering the flavors of a pear in a delectable dessert

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By Jim Bailey

A cross between a cake and a flan, this delectable dessert is chock full of pear flavor.

I advise taking the time to use your own poached pears, but if that is not feasible, canned pears are a perfectly acceptable substitute. I will give you both preparations so you can decide. *Refer to note at the end.


A cross between a flan and a cake with wonderful pear flavors.

Nonstick cooking spray
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup sifted flour
1 (15-ounce) can sliced pears in juice, drained
Powdered sugar, for the top

Spray the bottom and sides of a 10-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Dice enough pears to equal 1/3 cup; set aside. Puree enough remainder pears in a food processor or blender until very smooth equaling 1/2 cup; set aside. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

Beat butter, sugar and egg yolks until smooth and creamy. Fold in graham crackers, flour and pureed pears until well combined. In another bowl, with clean and dry beaters. beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter well and pour into prepared cake pan.

Evenly spread out the diced pears over the top and bake 21-23 minutes, or until the sides begin pulling away. The cake may seems a little loose but it will be perfectly cooked. Remove from oven, run a sharp knife around the inside to loosen and set aside to cool. After a few minutes, cover and refrigerate until completely cooled, Slice, dust with powdered sugar and serve.

*Note: If you decide to poach your own pears, simply peel, core and dice 2 Bosc pears and add to a saucepan with 2 cups orange juice and 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder(you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg if desired). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reducing to low once boiling.

Stir well and simmer, uncovered, 3-5 minutes, or until soft but still holding together. Immediately strain and cool before using in recipe. You will need to stir frequently to prevent discoloration because the exposed part of the fruit will start browning while cooking because of oxidation.

Yankee Chef book coverSchiffer Books of Pennsylvania has released Jim Bailey’s new book The Yankee Chef: Feel Good Food for Every Kitchen. It contains more than 550 traditional New England comfort-food recipes tweaked for today’s palates with hundreds of kitchen tips and food facts. The hardback book is 312 pages and contains 200 color images. Its ISBN is 978-0-7643-4191-5 and the cost is $34.99. The book can be ordered through Misty Valley Books, 802-875-3400.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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