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Hasselback Pear Cake
1 h 40 m
“This stunning pear cake uses almond flour in place of some all-purpose flour, reducing carbs and adding protein and fiber. But its real appeal is its presentation: display this pretty dessert on a cake stand for guests to admire before you slice and serve it.”
2 firm ripe Bartlett pears
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon plus 1 tablespoon, divided
⅓ cup canola oil
⅓ cup applesauce
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups almond flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¾ cup whipped cream (optional)
1Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
2Peel pears and slice in half lengthwise. Use a paring knife or melon baller to scoop out the seeds.
3Place the pear halves cut-side down on a cutting board and make vertical slices across each, almost all the way through but not quite, so that the pear half is still intact. Set aside.
4Combine ⅓ cup sugar with 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the mixture.
5Add the remaining ⅔ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon, oil, and applesauce to the medium bowl and whisk until well mixed. Whisk in eggs and vanilla until combined. The mixture will be very dark and loose.
6Whisk all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cloves in another medium bowl. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Use a spatula to fold them together, scraping down the sides, until almost all of the dry mixture has been dampened but you still see small pockets of flour.
7Sprinkle 1½ teaspoons of the reserved cinnamon sugar in the bottom of the springform pan. Pour in the batter. Gently press the reserved pear halves into the batter, with the flat part down and the neck of the pear toward the center, taking care not to let the pears touch the pan sides. Press until the batter squishes up around the sides of each pear but the top is still exposed and not completely covered. Sprinkle the pears and batter with the remaining cinnamon sugar.
8Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
9Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and release the pan sides. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes more. Remove the pan bottom and transfer the cake to a serving plate. Cut into 12 slices. Garnish each with 1 tablespoon whipped cream, if desired.
Sugar Substitute: Use Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking. Follow package directions to use 1 cup equivalent.
To make ahead: Make the cake up to 24 hours in advance. Let it cool completely, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Let the cake come to room temperature before serving.