Pear and Pistachio cake is filled with pistachios and is super moist. A lot of steps but will feed a crowd and the flavors are awesome. A great cake for a Holiday Meal.
As a food blogger, I love it when someone asks me to make a particular dish or sends me a recipe they found that looks good, so when Mike e-mailed the recipe for a Pear and Pistachio cake from Garden & Gun, I was thrilled. Normally, I don’t make cakes. There’s just so much left-over and it’s hard to share. You can only cut a slice so small and once it’s on my plate, I have a hard time not eating the entire slice. Thanksgiving seemed a great time to experiment with this very large dessert, so the weekend before I baked the layers. This is a dense, very moist cake, that makes three very large layers. It has an entire pound of pistachios in the cake, making it pretty crunchy, but if you love pistachios, it’s right up your alley.
When baking cakes, like anything else, the more you make them, the better your technique becomes. I’ve made cakes before, but it’s been a while, so I gave my mother-in-law a call to get her tips on freezing and icing. She can make a perfect cake in her sleep. She suggested I make the layers, let them cool and then wrap and freeze them which I did the weekend before Thanksgiving. Then on Thanksgiving morning, I took them out of the freezer and frosted them while they were still frozen. It’s so much easier to frost a cake when it’s frozen. You can also freeze the cake once it’s frosted, but I didn’t have room for this enormous cake in my freezer. It was thawed by dinner and looked awesome.
This cake was delicious and everyone loved it. However, it was complicated and took a while to prep. For all of the above reasons, I’m not sure I would make it again, or any cake unless I am having a lot of people over. I do love the challenge of a complicated recipe, but seriously it took me 45 minutes to prepare this, not counting the baking and assembly time. With browning the butter, chopping the pistachios, grating the pears, then squeezing all the juice out of them, I was done before I even put it in the oven. To decorate it, they suggested using the juice from the pears to make candied pear slices on the top which I did. (mine didn’t turn out quire at pretty as Garden & Gun’s) I’m not trying to discourage you from making this, just warning you in advance. The recipe suggested 8 inch pie pans, but mine are 9 inch and were full with the batter. I don’t think 8 inch pans would have held it. With a cake this dense, you need to make sure the center is cooked. One of my layers was a little under done in the center, but I just didn’t cut the slices too deep, and I was fine.
One trick I read somewhere when making layer cakes is to put a piece of cardboard under each layer to keep it together when you are moving the layers. I cut out 3 from some gift boxes I had under my bed. This worked like a charm and I didn’t have to worry about my layers falling apart. You just slide it under the layer and when ready to place, just slip it out.
I was hoping to get a pear flavor from this cake, but the pears, just added moisture. If you are willing to put in some effort, this cake is a show stopper. Garden & Gun rarely disappoints in their recipes.
Get the recipe here.