Olive Oil Cake with Glazed Pears
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Coat a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and place a piece of oiled parchment in the bottom of the pan.
Cake: Whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until combined; add the lemon zest, orange zest, olive oil, yogurt, milk and brandy and whisk again until combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You may need to cover the cake with foil the last few minutes of baking to prevent the top from becoming too brown.
Let the cake cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the loaf and invert it onto the rack, removing the parchment carefully. Let cool completely.
Pears: In a medium sauté pan, simmer the sugar and water over medium heat, swirling the pan (do not stir with a spoon) until it is a dark amber, about 5-8 minutes. Carefully fold the pears into the caramelized sugar. Add the pear juice and cook over medium heat until the apples are tender and translucent, another 5-8 minutes.
Cut the loaf into 8 slices and divide among plates. Spoon the apple mixture over the cake and serve.
In Your Glass
A number of classic dessert wines could accompany this cake but instead we might lean toward a white port, “leve secco”, or “light dry”, which hails from Portugal’s Douro region. With a little less alcohol than the other traditional ports, and a hint of sweetness, it complements dessert with lovely almond and vanilla aromas and flavors. Doug and I like to find wines that avoid being overly sweet as they tend to mask some of the cake’s more delicate flavors. Of course I’m also partial to Shafer’s Firebreak made in the style of late-bottled vintage Port.