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Will a Pear a Day Keep the Doctor Away?

This season our apple trees at the 1900 farm did not produce much useable fruit. It’s hard to pinpoint why, but the strange growing season this year surely played a part. Nevertheless, the two old pear trees we have more than compensated. Stalwart and strong, these pear trees provided a bountiful harvest, as they do about every second year here at the 1900 farm. Pears, in many ways, are synonymous with apples. They can be used to make cider, sauce, and pie. In my opinion, one of the best ways to prepare pears is to stew them with spices on the stove. The recipe below is especially tasty, and makes your house smell really nice.

Spiced Pears

Pour all juice from can of pears into a saucepan.  Add:

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. cloves

½ tsp .nutmeg

½ tsp. ginger

Boil.  Pour over pears to marinate.

Serve warm over cake.

The stewed pears can be eaten by themselves, but they are a nice addition to a dense cake, such as a pound cake. In case you need a new cake recipe to try, I’ve included one below that goes really well with pears. It is from an 1879 cookbook entitled Housekeeping in Old Virginia. Try it in a fluted cake pan for a fancier touch at a dinner party, and enjoy!

Marble Spice Cake

Light Part:

            1 cup White Sugar

            ½ cup Butter

            ½ cup Buttermilk

            Whites of 3 Eggs

            1 tsp. Cream of Tartar

            ½ tsp. Baking Soda

            2 cups Flour

Cream butter and sugar, Gradually add egg whites.  Add soda to buttermilk. Mix other dry ingredients together separately.  Alternate mixing dry ingredients and buttermilk into creamed batter.

Dark Part:

            ½ cup Brown Sugar                    

            ¼ cup Butter

            ½ cup Molasses

            ¼ cup Milk

            ½ tsp. Nutmeg

            1 tsp. Cinnamon

            ½ tsp. Allspice

            2 cups Flour

            ½ tsp. Baking Soda

            1 tsp. Cream of Tartar

            3 Egg Yolks

Cream butter and sugar.  Add molasses and egg yolks.  Mix together dry ingredients.  Alternate mixing dry ingredients and milk into creamed mixture.

 

Put cake batter in a bundt pan, alternating one tablespoon of light then one tablespoon of dark batter until full.  Makes 2 bundt size cakes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45minutes to one hour.

Notice that the dark part of this cake is not made with chocolate, like we usually assume is the case with marble cake, but rather molasses. The dark sweet flavor makes this an excellent taste for a fall harvest meal. A dollop of whipped cream completes the dessert.