Spring is finally in the Yukon air.

When it takes hold, one can hardly remember when we were in the midst of those long winter days.

Invite a friend or two and brew up a cup of tea to enjoy with a slice of this lovely, fragrant cake. The addition of moist, mild pears to tart dried cherries makes an impressive flavour combination.

Maybe you can sit out in the sun and count the swans flying overhead.

If dried cherries are too elusive or you didn’t dehydrate any last summer, you can substitute any kind of dried fruit – apricots, cranberries or blueberries.


Pear and Dried Fruit Torte

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs

? cup granulated sugar

½ cup light olive oil

? cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1? cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon lemon zeste

1 can (398 ml) pears, drained and chopped into large chunks

1 cup dried cherries (or substitute other dried fruit)

Topping:

1 cup almond paste

1 egg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

PREPARATION:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Lightly grease or oil the sides of an eight-inch spring-form pan then place a parchment paper or waxed paper round in the bottom. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a food mixer, or using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar.
  • Add in the oil, milk and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and lemon zeste.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the creamed sugar mixture.
  • Add in the drained and chopped pears.
  • Add in the dried cherries (see note below about pre-soaking or plumping the fruit).
  • Mix well.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Prepare the Topping:

  • Using a food processor or hand held pastry blender, mix together the almond paste, egg and cinnamon until fine crumbs.
  • Sprinkle this over top of the cake.
  • Place the cake on a piece of aluminum foil and/or baking sheet.
  • Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for about 60 to 70 minutes.
  • It is done when a wooden pick comes out clean.

Hint: Before using the cherries or other dried fruit, soak in some of the canned pear juice. This will plump the fruit and keep the cake moist.