Winter’s last hurrah {pear nut torte}

Winter decided to have one last hurrah before allowing spring to show itself! I knew it was coming but wasn’t expecting any accumulation.  I thought it might just flurry a bit with a some sleet and rain.  Nope.  We now have about 4 inches of snow on the ground.  So what does one do with an unexpected snowfall?! We stayed in our jammies all day; we played games; J did some crafting; R did some racing; Ted did some filing; and I caught up on some chores, paid bills, & finally made it into the kitchen to make a pear nut torte.


I have a bay window in my kitchen that allows for a wonderful view into the world.  I often go to these windows and peak out to see what’s going on and when I’m cooking I get rather distracted with these windows.  Today I saw a group of robins taking shelter under some bushes, searching for seeds; the brightest cardinal I have ever seen perched atop a street sign; snowflakes the size of my boys’ hands floating to the ground; and then a vast number of slightly smaller snowflakes, so numerous I felt I was in a snowglobe.  It was a beautiful day to be cooking in the kitchen!

pear nut torte

But fortunately I did not get too distracted with the serenity of the snowfall and got the pear nut torte baked!  I love how the pears cooked down in this recipe and how the pecans give it a little texture.  I didn’t add the raisins, just because I don’t particularly care for raisins in stuff like this.  The cake is absolutely delicious though.  My husband is eating his third piece right now!  Hopefully we’ll have some left for tomorrow – I just saw that schools are cancelled.  The boys will want some for dessert after lunch!

Pear Nut Torte

2 to 3 fresh winter pears (enough to make 2 1/2 cups)

1/2 c. butter

1 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 c. chopped nuts (I used pecans)

1 c. raisins

Core the pears, but do not peel, and finely chop.  Cream butter and both sugars.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla.  Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Add to creamed mixture and blend well.  Add chopped pears, nuts, and raisins.  Mix lightly but thoroughly.  Put into a greased and floured 2 qt. fluted tube pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes (check at 45 minutes, mine took less time) or until cake is done.  Cool a few minutes before putting on a wire rack.



Pear Honey

pear honey

This is so delicious I can barely contain myself!  I just made a small pot (2 jars worth) so I didn’t actually can the honey.  I plan on keeping a jar at home to use and giving the second one away.  But this recipe is so good I may have to make a large pot next time and can a bunch of jars.  Note: I used 4 pears which equalled 4 cups when chopped.

Pare, core, chop, and measure hard ripe pears and place in a pot.  Add a little water if needed to start cooking.  Boil 10 minutes.

To each quart (4 cups) of chopped pears, add 3 cups of sugar, juice of 1 lemon, grated rind of 1/2 lemon, and 1/2 tsp. ground ginger.  Boil until thick.  Pour into hot jars and seal at once.

You can use different spices if desired such as nutmeg or cinnamon and grated orange or lemon peel.