Oatmeal cake with pears and chocolate chips

Oatmeal cake

A perfect pear. It’s such a nice phrase, and such a rare and wonderful object to find in real life. There’s something so hopeful about waiting for a pear to ripen. You buy a few hard, golden green unblemished boscs. You put them somewhere safe and you wait for that one day that they’ll be perfect. Not mushy, not hard, just sweet and yielding. But there’s no guarantee they’ll be sweet once they ripen! You don’t know! They could be mealy and bland. And the wait for them to ripen is like marking the passage of time – they change before your eyes, almost as you watch! In my house it’s a very rare pear that makes it to perfection without insult and abuse. They’re dropped, they’re played with, somebody sneaks little bites and then puts it back when they realize it’s not ripe. Somehow I miss the fleeting moment of perfection. And I have bruised, scratched, soft and overripe pears. Which is exactly why pear cake was invented!

This cake has ground oats inside, to give a nice oaty flavor and texture, and rolled oats on top for crispy crunchiness. It has cardamom, which is a mysterious but lovely flavor, and very nice with pears. It’s a nice cake to have with coffee in the morning, but it’s sweet and special enough to have with a glass of wine after dinner. Maybe with some ice cream or lightly whipped cream. It’s very quick to put together.

Here’s Big Youth with Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. Time is running and passing, and you better get it right this time, but wait…there is a next time! If you miss the moment of ripeness – bake a cake!!

1 cup flour
1 cup rolled outs – processed to make a sort of crumby powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t cardamom
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 t vanilla
1 egg
2 ripe pears, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch dice
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

CRUMBLE TOPPING
3 T butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 T flour
1 cup oats
pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Add all of the dry ingredients and mix well.

Stir in the pears. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Spread the batter in a butter & floured cake pan.

For the topping…In a small saucepan, warm the butter and sugar. When the butter is melted, add the flour, salt and oats. Stir to combine everything and coat each oat with buttery sugar.

Spread the crumble topping evenly over the cake.

Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes, till the cake pops back up when you press it lightly.

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