This cake brings back instead memories of Spain, cracking almonds by the kilo and grinding them to a pulp to make almond flour. Such arduous work for a few handfuls of thick, khaki-colored powder. Or so you might assume, until you bake a frangipane cake, which is mostly just ground almonds and butter with fruit, if you care for it. I believe we topped ours with brandy-soaked figs, which, sadly, I did not have on hand.
I made this cake for a ‘primal dieting’ friend who is eschewing refined carbs (sugar, wheat, grains, etc) for a more protein-centric diet focused on muscle-building proteins and glycemia-friendly carbohydrates. Although watching someone deny themselves bread pretty much breaks my heart, frangipane, which exchanges wheat for ground almonds and has an admittedly hearty amount of butter (animal fat FTW), is pretty much the perfect middleground. I get to eat sugar and fruit. You get to eat nuts and fat. We all win–hoorah!
You can use virtually any fruit as a topping. I picked pears solely based on their existence in my refrigerator. My birthday present this year was a stockup on various fruits and vegetables from our local orchard (I also got a popsicle tray, but that is another blog entry..) I’m talking two dozen apples, two quarts of strawberries…I’m only one person–how much can I eat?! I made so much jam that week. Anyway, I had a few good ol’ Bosc pears sitting around and I thought they’d look nice splayed out in some windmill-esque fashion. Anddd…I was right! What a pretty cake.
While it may not match it’s Spanish counterpart in splendor, I think it would give it a fair run for it’s money. The density, sweetness and light spice from the cinnamon all came together in a nice little torte-like package. Now, back to my carb binge!
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup applesauce
150 grams sugar
150 grams almond flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pear, sliced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter, applesauce and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, followed by almond flour, cinnamon, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Pour into small baking dish and top with sliced pears. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until inserted knife comes out clean.