Monday, June 22, 2009

There's a pear in there

I have always been quick to spout off about how much I dislike Winter. Maybe a little too quick and I think it's even about time I said sorry to the frosty fellow. Because you know what, whilst I don't like feeling cold and I miss wearing singlets and thongs (or flip flops — I don't want anyone on the other side of the world to think I hang out all summer in a singlet and pair of barely there underpants), there is a whole lot that comes with the season of chill that I do like. In fact, love even.
:: I love sitting in front of a fire sipping hot chocolate
:: I love wrapping my littles in lovely knitted beanies, scarves and mittens before we head out for a brisk walk to school
:: I love family board games
:: I love it that the littles sleep until at least 8am most Saturdays
:: I love rainy afternoons around the fire reading chapter books
:: I love snuggling on the couch catching up on all the movies I've wanted to see for the last year
:: I love misty mornings
:: I love the smell and taste of slow-cooked food
:: And I really, really, really love baking
Last week I had a lot of ripe pears so gave the Pear and Almond Pudding Cake from The River Cottage Family Cookbook a go. It was so delicious we ate the whole thing and I got up and cooked it again the very next morning!
And I just have to tell you that this is one of cookbooks. Seriously. It's not just that the recipes are great. They are that. But they are not just recipes. This book celebrates families in the kitchen by including the hows and whys of food science and history (it's answered a lot of our kids' and my questions). It's like having a totally fun and friendly home-ec teacher in your house to make simple sense of everything for you. There's even food experiments to try and instructions on growing your own produce. It really is the bees knees.
Oh okay, I know, the recipe already:

What you will need:
150g unsalted butter, softened (but not melted)
25g unsalted butter (this can be straight from the fridge as you will be melting it)
1 tblspn granulated sugar
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tspn almond extract
75g almond meal
75g self raising flour
3 ripe (but still a little firm) pears
How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin (springform is best to release this cake as it is very moist).
Peel and core pears and slice each pear into four large wedges. Put in a small saucepan over medium heat, add butter and sugar and stir gently to coat pears. Cook for just a few minutes and then remove from heat.
Mix butter and sugar well with a wooden spoon then beat in eggs one at a time following with almond extract. Add almond meal and flour and fold into mixture.
Scrape mixture into pan and spread evenly and gently with a knife. Arrange pears on top and bake for about 45 minutes.

What are you finding to love about winter?


Kathryn - MamaBoo said...

That look delicious!

Ems said...

You have pretty much hit the nail on the head. I loooove Winter. Crisp cold mornings, wrapping up in snuggly knits. Walking and riding along the beach without the either the sun scorching us or the wind blowing us to kingdom come! And yes baking :-)

m.e (Cathie) said...

yay, I LOVE winter aswell!
That book looks great, I used to love the series when it was shown on tv.

dollybird said...

GAH! I want some! NOW!
looks so bloody delicious!

MLF said...

That looks so amazing. I'd have to padlock it away or I'd eat it all in one go!
Winter loves; baking, rugging up for Sunday morning markets, fine wool layers, reading books on Sunday afternoons, scones, jam and a pot of tea, no tv on through the week and pottering/being creative instead. I pretty much love everything about winter! xxx

mum space said...

Oooh, scones, jam and a pot of tea - so lovely x

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