Serves 16. This recipe is from “Piece of Cake! One-bowl, No-Fuss, From-Scratch Cakes,” by Camilla V. Saulsbury (Robert Rose, $29.95).
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2½ tsps. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
½ cup unsalted butter
1½ tsps. vanilla extract
2½ cups coarsely chopped, firm ripe pears
Nonstick baking spray
1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
2. Add eggs, sour cream, butter and vanilla to flour. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula. Beat on medium for 1 minute.
3. Gently stir in pears.
4. Spread batter evenly in 13-by-9-inch baking pan sprayed with nonstick baking spray with flour. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Note: This cake is delicious — not too sweet — without a crumb topping. Camilla V. Saulsbury suggests a crumb topping made with ½ cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1⁄3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and 1½ cups chopped walnuts. Using fingertips, blend ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle evenly on batter before baking.