This recipe comes from a friend of mine who also spent a good amount of time in her grandmother’s kitchen when she was growing up. When we connected, I asked her to share this lovely recipe. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
My name is Chahinez and I am so excited to be coming from lifestyleofafoodie to share this awesome recipe with you guys. On my blog, I usually post more healthy recipes but I definitely post some guilty pleasure treats just for the love of cooking and baking as well!
Today, the recipe that I bring to you is all the way from North Africa. More specifically, Algeria. It is a beautiful country full of food culture and delicious produce all year round! That allows for amazing desserts with fresh fruits to be made whenever you want!
I always say that fresh is better than canned or frozen but when in a pinch or can’t find the fruit you can always use frozen or canned pears. Just make sure that you are aware of the extra sugar content, so maybe use the syrup of the canned pears to soak the cake itself or reduce the sugar in the syrup that we make in this recipe.
So let me tell you a little background story about myself and this delicious recipe! Back when I was little, and still lived in Algeria, I would spend most of my days off at my grandmother’s because I was so in love with her food! (yes I was definitely a little fat kid!)
By spending so much time there, I learned a lot too! She was so caring and patient with me, and would let me try everything she would do in the kitchen. This gave me the skill and the confidence everyone needs when they are cooking or baking!
I remember walking home from school, passing by her kitchen window and smelling the sweet aroma of her pear cake. That was when I knew that we were going to have a delicious afternoon snack!
My grandmother often served this dessert with our Algerian mint tea, which is pretty much the same as Moroccan mint tea or Tunisian mint tea! It is a tea that’s made using green gunpowder tea and mint, it typically has a lot of sugar but we prefer it a little less sweet, especially when it is paired with a fresh baked dessert!
Why use pears for cakes?
- The use of pears in a cake not only add a delicious fruity flavor but keeps the cake very moist.
Pears usually tend to have a whopping 84% water content which will help in maintaining your dessert’s perfect texture.
Why use syrup to finish off this cake?
- The syrup in this case adds a little bit of sweetness since the cake itself is not too sweet. It also allows the cake to have this amazing soft melt-in-your-mouth texture.
I want to thank Delaine for giving me this opportunity to give you a recipe that my grandmother back in Africa still makes to this day, and without further ado, let’s jump into it!
North African Pear Cake Squares
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup +1 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 large pears
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- First turn on the oven to 350 F, then start by buttering a 9X9 inch pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk the flour, the baking powder, and the salt. In a separate smaller bowl beat the eggs, sugar, milk, oil, and vanilla together. Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture and stir until everything is incorporated.
- Now peel the pears, slice them in half, core them and then cut them into simple slices. And place them side by side on the baking pan (you will have two layers of pears). Pour the batter mixture over the pears and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- While the cake is baking, make the syrup. Put the water and the sugar in a saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil and pour it over the hot cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.
- Let the pear cake soak in the syrup and cool down for 30 minutes to an hour, cut into squares and enjoy!
- Note: I personally enjoy having this cake cold so I let it cool down, cut it and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours and enjoy it with a warm cup of tea.