Speculaascake met peren

These are busy times in a Dutch household! It's only five more days until Sinterklaas is supposed to leave a sackload of gifts on the doorstep but most people, as help-Sints(ahem ahem), still have gifts to buy, rhymes to come up with and even worse, think of any surprises they are going to built this year. Because during Sinterklaas you don't just wrap a present and attach a card to it: you disguise the gift into a completely unrelated (or not) object and write a long, tongue-in-cheek-and-poking-fun rhyming poem for the recipient of your generosity.  

So if that's you, don't despair.  You still have five whole days. Treat yourself to a comforting, sweet and hopefully rhyme-inspiring cake, made with fresh fruit and speculaaskruiden, those all-present spices that flavor just about anything this time of year. 

Put your feet up with a good cup of coffee and a slice of speculaascake. Pears are a fantastic fall and winter fruit, and speculaas evokes promises of goodness and cheer. Take a sip, munch a bite. Grab a pen and paper. Go to the RhymeZone and before you know it, a fantastic poem will come right rolling out!  

Speculaascake met peren
1 ½ stick butter
½ cup sugar
1 cup finely ground almonds
1 teaspoon almond essence
4 eggs
1 ½ cup flour
1 tablespoon speculaas* spices
3 pears
2 tablespoons apricot jam

Cream the butter with the sugar. Add one egg at a time, until each egg has been absorbed. Stir in the almond meal, the flour and the almond essence, lastly the speculaaskruiden, until you have a smooth batter.

Heat the oven to 350F. Grease a pie plate. Peel the pears, slice them in half and remove the core. Slice the pear halves in thin slices and brush with a little bit of lemon juice. Pour the batter into the pie plate and place five  pear halves on top, pushing them slightly into the dough, but just a little bit.

Bake for 50 minutes or until done. Add half a tablespoon of warm water to the apricot jam and brush the pears and the cake with the glaze. Let cool. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Speculaas spices: mix 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon with ½ teaspoon of nutmeg, clove, ginger and coriander each, 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom, white pepper, and ground orange peel. 

1 comment:

  1. Can I leave off the apricot glaze? I don't have apricot jam and don't want to buy a jar just for this cake.


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