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Playing How to Make Olive Oil Cake |  Maria Betar

Rach's sister, Maria, recently served this luscious olive oil cake AND a Ricotta Cake at a dinner party at Rach's Tuscan villa and both got rave reviews. The rest of the menu included John's "Big Mistake" Cocktail (a bubbly twist on the Negroni), Rach's Four Cheese Stuffed Eggplant Rolls and Jamie Simpson's Raw Zucchini Pasta Salad with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Ingredients

  • Butter, for greasing
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for the pan
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 pears, such as Anjou
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ¾ cup light olive oil
  • ½ cup whole milk
To Serve (optional):
  • Pear slices
  • Mascarpone whipped cream or lemon sauce

Yield

Serves: Makes one 9-inch bundt cake, serving 8

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325°F, with rack at center. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform bundt pan.  

Sift together the flour and baking powder into a medium bowl, then set aside. 

Peel and grate 1 pear and set aside. Slice the other pear and arrange the slices in the bottom of the prepared bundt pan in a pretty circle, then set aside.

Using a hand or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, in a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar at medium speed until light yellow and mousse-like, 3 to 4 minutes.

Whisk in the grated pear, lemon zest and limoncello, followed by the cornmeal and then the olive oil. Whisk in the flour and baking powder mixture and then the milk. Pour the batter on top of the pear slices in the bundt pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. 

Let cool completely before inverting the pan. I like to serve the cake with extra fresh pear slices and mascarpone whipped cream or lemon sauce.