Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I Wanna See Your Pecan (Pear-Blueberry Coffee Cake)

Well, the title is a stretch on a Katy Perry song, but it makes sense to me. So for your listening pleasure,

"Come on baby let me see what you're hiding underneath." No, this lyric doesn't just apply to Katy Perry's curiosity, but what's underneath the pecans in my first post-graduate baked item: Pecan Pear-Blueberry Coffee Cake.

Throughout 4 years of college, several things have changed. No, I'm not any taller and my shoe size hasn't changed, but I've developed a dangerous addiction to coffee. If you would have told me when I started college that I would've been a daily coffee drinker, I would have said "well, I guess anything is possible" because I'm still indifferent. But either way, this coffee cake is coffee's missing lover. And at last, they can be joined in a loving brunch union. Forever and ever.

This coffee cake has the sweet tangy-ness of spring/summer time fruit and the savory crunch from the pecan topping. The lemon zest enhances the sweetness of the cake. Be careful with the amount of fruit added into the batter because the higher the water content, the musher the cake is going to become and the longer it may take to cook. Also, be careful with the amount of pecans in the topping because if they start stacking on top of each other, they may burn (eww...not good).

I found the original recipe in the June 2013 issue of Eating Well. Of course, I'm naturally defiant in almost every aspect of my life so why would I follow this recipe as it tells me to?

Pecan Pear-Blueberry Coffee Cake


Coffee Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour (plus extra for fruit)
3 Tbsp cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter, softened
3 Tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup chopped bosc pear, peeled

2 Tbsp butter, cold
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup sliced pecans

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 to 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Beat softened butter and oil in a large bowl until well combined. Add sugar and beat until mixture is smooth. Add eggs, milk, lemon zest, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Slowly, add flour mixture into wet ingredients until well combined.
Place chopped pear and blueberries in a separate bowel and lightly dust in extra flour. Carefully fold fruit into pan. Set aside.
Combine cold butter and sugar in a bowl by using a pastry blender or two knives until butter becomes small pieces. Toss pecans in to butter and sugar mixture. Sprinkle on top of the cake.
Bake cake until top is golden brown, about 50 to 55 minutes. To test if center of the cake is complete, either place a tooth pick in the center of the cake and wait for it to pop out or at the end of baking stick a butter knife into the center to see if it is finished. No batter should appear on the knife. If there is batter, the cake needs to continue cooking. Try using 5 minute increments to determine when to check again.

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