On Sunday, my dear friend Marie-Laure came over pour le goûter.
Le goûter is the afternoon snack kids are given when they come out of school around four. In my family, it is also called simply le thé, and is practically an institution. Around five on weekends, somebody will invariably ask “on fait le thé?” (alternatively “on prend le goûter?”). Cookies or cake (often home-baked by my mother) will be served, washed down by liters of tea. It is a habit I am very fond of, and one that I am always happy to indulge in when I can.
And so, I baked a cake.
I used a family standby called Gâteau de Mamy. As the name implies, this is my grandmother’s recipe, which she calls “Gâteau d’Ella” because it was her dear friend Ella’s recipe originally. It is anybody’s guess what Ella used to call it.
It is actually what I think is called an upside down cake, meaning that you lay fresh fruit at the bottom of the cake pan, and then pour the dough on top. Sort of a cake equivalent to the tarte tatin. It works with a variety of fruit : apples, apricots, plums… Here, I used 6 small pears, of three different kinds.
The resulting cake is golden, buttery and incredibly moist, light and fruity, with a slightly crusty edge, and it is very hard to stop at just one slice. But if you do and there are leftovers, your reward will be that this cake is even better the next day.
Gâteau de Mamy à la Poire
- 125g (1 stick plus 1 Tbsp) salted butter
- 4 large pears or 6 small ones (substitute apples, apricots, plums…)
- 150g (3/4 C) sugar
- 2 eggs
- 60g (1/2 C) all-purpose flour
- 20g (2 tablespoons) ground almonds
- Half of an envelope (1 1/2 tsp) baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Melt the butter in a small bowl and set aside to cool. Butter a non-stick 8-inch cake pan.
Wash, peel and cut up the pears. Lay the pieces of fruit at the bottom of the pan.
In a food processor or a medium mixing-bowl, blend the sugar with the eggs until the mixture whitens slightly. Add in the flour, almond powder and baking powder, and blend well. Pour in the butter, and blend again. Pour the batter evenly over the fruit, and put into the oven to bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
Let the cake settle on a cooling rack for a few minutes. Invert it on a plate (the fruit side will be on top). If any bit of fruit has stuck to the bottom of the pan, simply scrape them and place them back where they belong on the cake. Use a second plate to invert the cake again (the fruit side will then be at the bottom). Let cool and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Cooking/baking time: 40 min