Spiced Pear Cake with Crème Fraîche Glaze

Maybe pumpkin lattes are your thing, but there’s not much that tastes more like fall to me than this spiced pear cake. I adapted a family favorite recipe for a recent dinner night at a friend’s, then gladly ate the leftovers for breakfast. It is that good—and the glaze keeps the cake moist without being too sugary sweet. Packed with pears, walnuts and currants and laced with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla, you can’t go wrong with this seasonal cake.

Spiced Pear Cake with Crème Fraîche Glaze

3 firm, ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, at room temp
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup dried currants (or raisins)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

For the glaze:

1/2 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1 tablespoon water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg

Place the pears in a large bowl with the sugar. Stir and set aside for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a shallow, round pan. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Then sift the flour mixture into the bowl with the pears. Add eggs, oil, vanilla, currants and walnuts to bowl with pears and mix well. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan on a rack. Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, crème fraîche and water until smooth. Mix in vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread the glaze all over the top of the cake. Let stand until the glaze sets, then cut into wedges and serve.

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