Bake from Scratch

Perfect [ PEAR] INGS


Makes 1 (10-inch) cake

With whole poached pears rising up like regal statues, this cake is a conversation starter. It may seem like an artistic feat, but with some simple engineering, the look is easy to accomplish. A blend of pear juice and homemade mulled wine enhances the pears’ flavor and dyes them that gorgeous hue. Buttermilk and sour cream in the batter tone down the spice and zingy citrus and give the cake a super tender texture.

2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (224 grams) canola oil
3 large eggs (150 grams)
½ cup (120 grams) sour cream
2 tablespoons (6 grams) orange zest
2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt
1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground star anise
1 cup (240 grams) whole buttermilk
Mulled Wine-Poached Pears (recipe follows) Mulled Wine Glaze (recipe follows)
5 (12-inch) metal or wooden skewers

1. Position oven rack in bottom third of oven, and preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Wrap a 10-inch removable-bottom tube pan with foil, shiny side out. Spray pan with baking spray with flour.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil,

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