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Pear Cakes with Praline Sauce

Yield 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 pears
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup flaked coconut (optional)
  • Praline Sauce
  • Garnish: chopped pecans

How to Make It

  1. Cut 6 very thin slices from center of each pear (do not core). Chop remainder of pears to measure 1 1/2 cups.

  2. Combine 3 cups sugar and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add pear slices, and boil, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Drain and arrange 8 pear slices on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, overlapping wide edges. Repeat procedure with remaining pear slices.

  3. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Let stand overnight.

  4. Beat oil, 1 cup sugar, and egg at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to oil mixture, beating at low speed after each addition. Add chopped pear, pecans, vanilla, and, if desired, coconut; beat at low speed just until blended.

  5. Grease and sugar 6 (6-ounce) custard cups, and spoon batter into cups.

  6. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in cups on a wire rack.

  7. Remove cakes from cups, and press a strip of pear slices around sides of each cake. Serve with Praline Sauce, and garnish, if desired.