Almond-Pear Tea Cake

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When baking a birthday cake for a gluten-free friend, I found myself purchasing grocery items I hadn’t known existed. I’m grateful that I tried this recipe because almond meal is my new favorite ingredient for desserts. Its flavor is so complex and rich that some people asked if this cake was spiked with alcohol.

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This combination of pear, vanilla, and almond has a refined air that would make this cake at home in a high tea spread. It doesn’t look like much, but the flavor is fantastic! The cake is also incredibly moist, which I’m told is rare in gluten-free baking.

The only downside of this fabulous texture is difficulty removing the cake from the pan. Be sure to let it cool completely (at least 6 hours) before even trying. Then work a nonstick spatula around the edges and toward the bottom. Overturn the pan and gently wiggle out the cake. You can also line the pan with parchment paper if you absolutely need to serve this dessert in one piece.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (make sure the label specifies gluten-free if that matters to you)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 ripe Bartlett pears, finely diced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix olive oil, applesauce, syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl.
  2. Add almond meal, oat flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until a batter forms. Stir in pears.
  3. Pour batter into a nonstick loaf pan that has been rubbed with a paper towel dipped in olive oil (or lined with parchment paper; see earlier in the post).
  4. Bake for 40 minutes, until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
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