Friday, October 15, 2010

Ari's Banana/Pear/Cranberry Cake

Ari doesn't mess around when he bakes and, like his mama, he really gets into his food.  Today I said to him, "Ari, we have some bananas we need to do something with...what should we bake?"  He first said, "Cupcakes!" but then, every morning when I ask him what he wants for breakfast, he says, cupcakes.  I said, "How about a cake?"  He had noticed an old bundt pan yesterday, hanging on the wall, that Kelly had bought at a garage sale in Colorado years ago and pointed to it and said, "that one, Mimi."  Well, I didn't really trust the old pan, but did get out a newer version from the basket and said, "this one is just like that...without the paint chipping."

I've made a lot of banana bread in my lifetime and I love experimenting with other ingredients to combine with it.  I turned to my little chef and asked him what did he think would go well with bananas.  He immediately said, "Pears!"  Wow, that's a great idea and since he had just picked pears on Saturday, we had some Bosc that would be wonderful.  As a last little surprise, we tossed in some dried cranberries, but I think dried cherries would also go well too.

Banana~Pear~Cranberry Cake
3 medium Bosc pears (peel, core, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
1/2 cup apple cider
1 tsp. Tahitian vanilla

Begin by putting the above ingredients in a small saucepan and cook, covered, over medium low heat for 25-30 minutes or until tender.  Use a potato masher to mash the cooked pears.  Transfer to a glass bowl and let cool completely.  You should have approximately one cup of mashed pears.

4oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
2 bananas, mashed
1 cup pear/vanilla puree
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven 350F-degrees

In the KitchenAid, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together. Add the eggs and beat well.  Ari adds the mashed bananas and then the pear puree.

Beat together, but I will caution you that the mixture will look a little "curdled"...don't worry.  Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Grandpa called while we were baking, so Ari patiently awaits me handing him the flour!

 Mix the dry ingredients, just until they're combined.  Don't over mix!  Stir in the cranberries.  Ari brushes melted butter all over the inside of the bundt pan, being careful to get into the creases.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and when you lightly touch the top of the cake with your finger tips, it springs back.  Let cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes.  Turn out onto a serving plate.
 I leave on Sunday to return home to Washington so this was probably our last baking time together.  However, Ari is already gearing up to bake cookies at Christmas at Mimi's house in December when they come to visit. Enjoy!



  1. Susan
    I love looking at all the pictures of you and Ari together. All your fall recipes look so yummy and cozy. Today we are going to the pumpkin patch - we will be thinking of all of you, and Kelly of course.
    love ChrissyB