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Friday, January 24, 2014

Pear and Sour Cream Coffee Cake

sour cream coffee cake
Pear and Sour Cream Coffee Cake
We hosted Christmas at our house this year, and because my sister Julia was busy saving babies' lives on the night shift Christmas Eve, our Christmas morning broke tradition from what we were used to. Instead of awaking to stockings and gifts in our pjs followed by breakfast, we awoke to a leisurely breakfast and day before opening gifts in the late afternoon. It didn't really make a difference to me which order we did things, so long as we didn't skip out on the Christmas breakfast portion of the day!
Pin Itcoffee cake
This coffee cake was the star of the meal, which also featured a spicy egg dish, fruit salad, and coffee. Made a day ahead of time, this was fantastic on days two and three, particularly when served straight from the fridge. The best part? Definitely the pear crumble that, as you can see in the photos, was nearly as thick as the cake itself. Normally fruit is mixed into the coffee cake batter, such as in this cinnamon apple cake, but I loved the way all the fruit was piled on top in this one, creating a nice contrast to the rich cake below.
coffee cake
Definitely erring on the "cake" side of coffee cake, this is a breakfast treat meant for special occasions. I did include some whole wheat flour and reduce a bit of butter in the crumble to lessen a bit of the guilt factor, but calories don't count on Christmas breakfast...and good thing because I enjoyed multiple pieces of this not just that morning, but in the days that followed!

One Year Ago: Steak Fajita Lettuce Wraps and Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake
Two Years Ago:  Roasted Tomato Basil Soup and Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies
Three Years Ago: Whole Wheat Quick Bread with Pepitas and Mini Berry Swirl Cheesecakes
Four Years Ago: White Chocolate Toffee Coconut Oatmeal Cookies and Greek Salad Pita Sandwiches

Pear and Sour Cream Coffee Cake
from Food and Wine January 2014

for the topping-
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 cup rolled oats
-1 cup light brown sugar
-2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp ground ginger
-1 tsp ground ginger
-1 tsp kosher salt
-1 stick plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
-2 pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

for the cake-
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 cup whole-wheat flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-3/4 tsp baking soda
-2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-3 large eggs
-1 1/4 cups sour cream
-2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. To make the topping, whisk the flour with the oats in a large bowl, along with the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Use your hands to rub the butter into the mixture until incorporated, until clumps form. Add the pears and toss to combine. Refrigerate the topping for 20 minutes or until chilled.
2. While topping is chilling, preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 13 metal baking pan (I used glass). Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the sour cream and vanilla.
3. Beat the dry ingredients into the batter in three additions, just until incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Top with the streusel and bake for 60-75 minutes (mine was done at 60 minutes), until the crumb topping is browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely (about 1 hour), cut into squares, and serve.
*Cake is best on the 2nd or 3rd day, served chilled from the fridge