January 3, 2010
On January 3 2009 - one year ago today - I lived in a small town in New Hampshire. There had been snow on the ground since October, and all the revelry of Christmas and New Year was over. I was left with a great deal of washing up, all kinds of vows to de-tox, and my new year's resolutions, one of which was to start the food blog I'd been thinking about for years. On January 3, I stopped thinking, joined blogger, and made my very first post. I remember thinking at the time how incredibly awkward the first post of a blog is. I'm so glad I persisted through that awkwardness!
This recipe for pear and ginger crumble cake is sort of cheating, because it's a leftover from my time in New Hampshire, but that seemed appropriate for this anniversary. I cooked it in the spring, which is why the photos are full of frothy blossoms. It's one of the last things I made in that apartment, actually, and the photos and recipe were sort of lost during a summer in England and the busy transition to Texan life. This is a New England sort of cake, too. It's not too sweet - just comforting and crumbly and perfect with a cup of tea.
Thank you so much for reading O Pistachio throughout the past year - it's been encouraging, scary and lovely all at once. I'm looking forward to all the tastiness of the year ahead. Happy 2010 to you all!
Pear & Ginger Crumble Cake
adapted from Tamasin Day-Lewis' rhubarb & ginger crumble cake in Tamasin's Kitchen Classics
For the crumble:
110g / 4oz plain flour
4 tbsp light muscovado sugar
85g/3oz unsalted butter
For the fruit:
750g / 1lb pears
1 tsp ground dried ginger root
For the cake:
170g / 6oz unsoftened, unsalted butter
170g / 6oz white sugar
1/2 tsp of vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
170g / 6oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp milk
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Butter a 25cm / 10in springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Pulse all the crumble ingredients together briefly until they cohere in a crumbly way. Toss the chopped pear with the ginger in a bowl.
Beat the butter and sugar for the cake together with an electric beater until they are pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, sprinkling in a tablespoon of sifted flour when you have added about half the beaten egg to stop it curdling. Sift in the rest of the flour and baking powder and fold in gently but thoroughly. Fold in the milk.
Peel the pears and chop into 1cm / 1/2 inch chunks. Mix with the ginger.
Scrape the cake mixture into the cake tin. Follow with the pears, and sprinkle the crumble on top. Bake for about an hour. The crumble should be golden and crunchy and the pear cooked through by then. Place on a rack and cool for 15 minutes, then either release the spring and unmould the cake to serve warm with cream, or leave until cold to turn out and eat for tea.