This is the wickedly good dessert that Paula brought to share with our Sunday school class, the Bible Boomers on Sunday. It looked too good to pass up and it tasted even better.
She shared with us her difficulty in finding hazelnuts. She got the last bag that one of our grocery stores had. Christine asked me if the Handbell choir sold hazelnuts in our annual "Nut Sale" coming soon. I told her we did, but Paula said she wanted to buy some in the shells. Sounds like she has some free time on her hands. She got the recipe from Taste of Home.
Don't you just love the tablecloth we used?
HAZELNUT PEAR CAKE
1 - 1/2 cups whole hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed*
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 - 1/2 cups all - purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 ripe medium pears, peeled, and chopped ( about 2 cups)
Browned Butter Glaze
1/2 cup butter, cubed
3 tablespoons 2 % milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 - 3/4 to 2 cups confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10 - in fluted tube pan.
Chop 1 cup hazelnuts. Place remaining hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extracts.
In another bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, and ground hazelnuts together.
Add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the ricotta cheese, beating after each addition just until combined.
Fold in pears and chopped hazelnuts.
Pour the batter in the prepared pan.
Bake 55 - 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the glaze:
In a small heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Heat 5 - 7 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly.
Transfer to a bowl.
Stir in milk, vanilla, and enough confectioners' sugar to reach desired consistency.
Drizzle over cooled cake. (Paula said it makes a lot.)
* To toast whole hazelnuts, spread hazelnuts in a 15 x 10 x 1 - inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven 7 - 10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. To remove skins, wrap hazelnuts in a tea towel; rub with towel to loosen skins.