Pear-spice bundt cake
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 lb. (about 5) ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and cut into 11/2-inch chunks
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3 cups flour, plus extra for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pan
13/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup milk For glaze:
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoon milk, plus more if needed
Serves 12 to 14.
To prepare cake: In a saucepan over medium-high heat, spread granulated sugar in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, until sugar around edge of pan melts and begins to turn golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spoon, slowly stir until all sugar has melted and mixture is translucent and golden. Add pear chunks to caramel and stir to coat. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until very soft, 8 to 10 minutes, swirling pan occasionally.
Using a potato masher, mash pears until they are broken down but still slightly chunky. Continue cooking, uncovered, 5 minutes more, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, let cool completely and reserve.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, baking soda, pepper and nutmeg and reserve.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat butter, brown sugar and honey until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition.
Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with milk and beginning and ending with flour. Add reserved pear sauce and mix to combine, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed; do not over mix.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth batter with a spatula. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until cake is a deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool slightly. Invert cake onto a wire rack set over a piece of parchment paper and allow to cool 10 minutes. Once cool, pour Cream Cheese Glaze (directions below) over top of cake, letting some drip down sides.
To prepare glaze: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add powdered sugar and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add salt, lemon juice and milk and mix until smooth. If glaze is too thick to drizzle, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.