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The Big Book of Breakfast: Fresh Pear and Walnut Torte

I haven't had one of these in quite a while -- a recipe that doesn't just need some adjustment, but is an outright failure. This dessert bubbled over in the oven, pouring out of its baking dish and creating a blackened sugary mess. The texture was bizarre and the flavor was way too sweet. An utter disaster.

I think the proportions are off; there's too much sugar and not enough flour to make a cake-like batter. The leavening worked too well, foamy up the thin batter so that it poured out of the dish and made a big mess. The top of the batter formed a crisp shell on top of a mess of pear chunks that didn't have enough batter to suspend them. I tasted the resulting mess and thought that it was cloyingly sweet. Major changes would have to be made to the ingredients list of this recipe for it to work. If you've got a copy of The Big Book of Breakfast, do yourself a favor and skip this one.


Here's the recipe, just for informational purposes. If you're a baking pro and can spot what's wrong with it at a glance, drop me a line at Colleen@thecookbookcritic.com and let me know what you think the problem is. Thanks!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 pears, peeled, cored, and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups) or 1 1/2 cups chopped canned pears

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until light. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder and stir into batter. Fold in nuts and pears. Pour into a lightly oiled 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool thoroughly on a rack.

 

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©2005 Colleen Flippo. All rights reserved. Contact the author.