We finally picked the rest of the pears off of our prolific Charlie Brown pear tree. Its little branches have finally sprung back up to their pre-fruit bearing days and it seemed to breathe an audible sigh of relief as we picked the last pear. After indulging in my Pear, Blueberry and Ginger Cobbler recipe, eating many pears down to the core, and making plans to cook some apple and pear butter, I figured our pears could make one last incarnation before the season was over. What fruit doesn’t love being spiced up with some cloves and nutmeg, sweetened with some streusel, and baked in a moist, tender cake? That’s a rhetorical question. Coffee cake is perfect as part of Sunday brunch, with an early morning cup of coffee or tea, or as an afternoon treat.
Making the streusel:
In a medium bowl, combine 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar,
3/4 cup rolled oats,
and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.
Cut 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled butter into 1/2-inch pieces and cut into the brown sugar mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingers. I always start off using a pastry cutter, with some misplaced good intention of keeping my hands clean. It usually takes me about 10 seconds to realize that using my fingers is so much more fun.
When the mixture resembles coarse meal, set it aside.
Making the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg.
Combine 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter and 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar in a large bowl, and blend with a mixer until fluffy.
Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Fold in the flour mixture alternately with 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (I used 2%, but whole milk yogurt would work well, too), beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Do not overmix.
Coat a 12-cup bundt pan thoroughly with cooking spray (or grease with butter or shortening). Cut one pear into 1/2-inch pieces. Spoon in 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Top with 1/2 of the streusel mixture and 1/2 of the pear pieces.
Spoon in half of the remaining batter and top with the remaining streusel and pear pieces. Spoon in the rest of the batter and spread evenly over the streusel. Don’t be alarmed – the batter is rather thick. I had to double-check my ingredients list the first time I made this to make sure I hadn’t missed some sort of liquid.
Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Invert the cake onto a serving plate. Using a sieve, sprinkle over about 1/4 cup powdered sugar. You don’t have to do this step, but it really looks pretty. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Spiced Pear Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar & Oat Streusel
Adapted from an epicurious.com recipe
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp ground cloves
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) chilled butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 Bartlett pear, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Making the streusel:
In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, rolled oats, and ground cloves. Whisk together. Cut 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled butter into 1/2-inch pieces and cut into the brown sugar mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingers. When the mixture resembles coarse meal, set it aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.