Not exactly brimming with fruit as in years past...
There were a few clusters here and there, but they were, of course, in the upper branches.
Since I did promise the kiddos a pear cake, my only option was to shimmy up the tree and get some pears. I guess those few (that is the key word here!) push-ups I pumped out earlier in the week were going to come to good use!
We managed to fill two sand buckets with pears... I say "we" because while I climbed and picked, the kids provided moral support from the air conditioned car. This mainly came in the form of questions, such as, "What are you doing?" "Are there snakes out there?" and my personal favorite, "Can you give me my juice?"
After lunch and nap, Molly and I embarked on the culinary adventure of making my mom's pear cake. I included this recipe in a cookbook I made for my mom a few years ago that combined her recipes and my yaya's.
It's a great gift idea for anyone; my mom loved it!
The great (haha) thing about having to climb the pear tree was the pears were HUGE! They'd certainly had plenty of sun and rain, and it really only took me one huge pear and a few "regular" ones to make the cake.
The kitchen staff refused to wear her apron, but she's pretty cute anyway. ;) Besides having to let the chopped pears sit for an hour to "juice", the cake is so easy to make, a toddler could do it.... with adult supervision. (Or should we specify Mom supervision? You know what I'm talking about.)
She wasn't actually supposed to pour the oil in, but luckily she didn't spill any. We call the junk on the counters in the background a "worked-in" kitchen.
About an hour later.... voila!
Mom's Fresh Pear Cake
4 cups pear, cored and chunked
2 cups sugar (I used 1 1/2 and it was plenty sweet)
3 cups flour (all purpose or whole wheat pastry)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs beaten
2/3 cup oil
1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
Pour sugar over pears and let sit for at least one hour. Sift together flour, salt, soda and spices; set aside. Combine eggs and oil in large bowl. Add pears and juice, mix well. Add dry ingredients; stir until just blended. Pour into greased and floured tube or bundt pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan.