This Pear-Crème Fraîche Pound Cake balances the buttery richness of a classic pound cake with the delicately sweet flavors of fresh Bosc pears and the subtle tang of crème fraîche. But what truly gives this cake its signature dense but tender crumb is its use of eggs. They’re the miracle ingredient that adds both richness with the yolks and a subtle balance of height and lightness with the whites. For added depth of flavor, the batter is flecked with seeds from vanilla bean paste and perfumed with the gentle flavor of almond extract. The resulting cake is wonderfully complex in both taste and texture. Topped with a sweet, slightly tangy Vanilla-Crème Fraîche Glaze, this cake is every bit as beautiful as it is delicious.
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- 1½ cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 2¾ cups (550 grams) granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs (300 grams), room temperature
- 2 teaspoons (12 grams) vanilla bean paste
- 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) almond extract
- 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
- 1¼ cups (300 grams) crème fraîche, room temperature
- 2½ cups (400 grams) ½-inch-diced peeled Bosc pears * (about 3 large pears)
- Vanilla-Crème Fraîche Glaze (recipe follows)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at low speed just until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla bean paste and almond extract. (Mixture may look slightly curdled at this point, but batter will come together.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with crème fraîche, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition and stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Fold in pears.
- Generously spray a 15-cup Nordic Ware Anniversary Bundt Pan with baking spray with flour. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Tap pan on counter several times to evenly spread batter and release any air bubbles. (Pan will be quite full, but batter will not overflow during baking.)
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean and an instant-read thermometer registers 205°F (96°C) to 210°F (98°C), 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking and loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes. Using a small offset spatula, gently loosen cake from center and edges of pan. Invert cake onto a wire rack, and let cool completely.
- Spoon and spread Vanilla-Crème Fraîche Glaze onto cooled cake as desired. Serve immediately, or let stand until glaze is set, about 15 minutes.
- 1½ cups (180 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) crème fraîche
- 1 teaspoon (6 grams) vanilla bean paste
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 teaspoons (25 grams) heavy whipping cream
- In a medium bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar, crème fraiche, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Add cream until mixture is smooth and thick but can be drizzled off a spatula. Use immediately.
is creme fraiche like sour cream ?
Thank you so much for your question! Crème fraîche is similar to sour cream, but with a few differences. Crème fraîche is typically thicker, richer, and a little less tangy than sour cream. Sour cream clocks in at 20 percent fat content, whereas crème fraîche is 30 percent. For this recipe, you can substitute sour cream 1:1 by volume for the crème fraîche. However, it’s important to note that the flavor and texture of your cake may vary slightly.
Can I use Anjou pears instead since I have them on hand, or will they effect the texture having more/less water content or something?
Thank you for your question!
Although we haven’t tested this recipe with Anjou pears, they should work just as well. Like the Bosc pears, you’ll want to find pears that are firm but ripe. As long as they’re not too soft, the water content shouldn’t affect your cake.