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 stick (100 grams) butter
1.5 cups (225 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon speculaas* spices
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
2 eggs

3 pears (preferably Bartlett)
Lemon juice

Apricot jam
Powdered sugar
Soften the butter in the microwave, or melt carefully on stovetop and then cool down to room temperature. 

Mix the dry ingredients (flour through spices) in one bowl. Beat the milk and the eggs together, then fold them into the dry ingredients. Lastly, fold in the butter. 

Heat the oven to 325F/165C. Butter a 9 inch (22cm) pie plate or spring form. Peel the pears, slice them in half and remove the core. Slice the pear halves in thin slices, but keep them together, 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. Brush the pears with a little bit of apricot jam. 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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