Pear Crumb Cake – A Little Lighter and Perfect for a Holiday Brunch

Now I know this isn’t a cooking blog, but here’s how it fits in with personal finance and frugality:

  1. I used ingredients I had in the house, instead of wasting time and money driving to a store (the nearest city that might have open stores is 22 miles away!)
  2. I made it from scratch, so it was cheaper than buying store made.
  3. Some ingredients were given to us free (almonds and the yogurt).
  4. No plastic containers to deal with (we don’t have a recycling program out here).
  5. I used two pears that were very ripe so they didn’t get wasted or thrown away.

I was in the mood to bake something fancy on Christmas Day, and we had two very ripe pears so I looked on the ‘net for a pear cake recipe. I found this delicious Pear Crumb Cake recipe. It is very light and fluffy, I’m pleased with how it turned out. It would be PERFECT for a holiday brunch, or any little get together where you wanted to make something special.

Apparently the original recipe is from McCormick, but a search for the recipe on their site brings up a pear crumb cake recipe which is actually a peach crumb cake recipe once you get there. I found the recipe here and here.

I also found this site a couple of weeks ago that is really cool. I don’t count calories, but I sometimes like to know what difference I’ve made when I do alter a recipe. Here is the original recipe and the nutrition facts (recipe serves 18):

Here it is after I altered it. Pretty good! Almost 100 less calories per serving.

Here were the three changes I made to the ingredients. I didn’t have walnuts on hand, but I did have almonds (given to us free) so I used almonds instead. It took me long enough to chop 1/2 cup of almonds into fine bits, so I decided to just stop there, instead of using an entire cup and a 1/2. I find that most recipes are too sweet, so I used 3/4 cup of sugar instead of an entire cup. Lastly, I happened to have on hand 6 ounces of Wallaby Organic Fatfree Bartlett Pear Creamy Australian yogurt, so I substituted that instead of the 8 ounces of sour cream. I had Wallaby Organic maple yogurt on hand and used another ounce of that (the yogurt was also free). The yogurt was a bit runnier than sour cream usually is, so I used an ounce less. OH, and one other alteration. The original recipe called for two teaspoons of cream of tartar and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. I had no cream of tartar on hand, so I did some research on the ‘net and discovered that baking powder contains cream of tartar and baking soda. So I just combined the amount of the two separate ingredients (2 teaspoons cream of tartar and 1 teaspoon of baking soda) and used 1 tablespoon baking powder. This cake was very light and fluffy. I think if I make it again, I would layer the pears on top of the batter, instead of mixing the pears into the batter as instructed.

Lighter Pear Crumb Cake

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 pears
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
6 ounces Wallaby Organic Fatfree Bartlett Pear yogurt
1 ounce Wallaby Organic Fatfree maple yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Combine topping ingredients to make coarse crumbs.

Peel, core and coarsely chop pears; set aside.

Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl at high speed until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and sour cream (yogurt) to batter; beat at low speed until combined.

Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until combined; stir in pears. Spoon into prepared pan.

Sprinkle with topping mixture.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until cake pulls away from sides of pan and topping is browned.Quick, easy, and you know everything that went into it. No artificial ingredients, no chemicals, no preservatives.

Let me know if you try this cake, it was simply divine!

Yours Truly,

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