Pecan, Pear Torte w/Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 10 servings.
For the Torte:
2-3/4 cup roasted pecans, chopped
1 cup gf flour
1/2 cup gf breadcrumbs
zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
For the Frosting:
12 ounces gf cream cheese at room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter att room temperature
zest of 1 orange, finely minced
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
For the Pears:
2-1/2 cups frozen raspberries
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cup orange juice
2 large firm Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
Making the torte:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Position rack in center of oven.
Butter two 9-inch cake pans, lining bottoms with parchment paper. Butter and flour (gf flour) the parchment paper, tapping out excess flour.
Place 2 cups pecans and gf flour in a food processor. Pulse until nuts are finely ground. Add gf breadcrumbs, orange zest, spices and salt. Pulse until blended.
Beat eggs, using an electric mixer, until frothy. Gradually beat in sugars until thick and mixture has tripled in volume, about 6 minutes.
Fold nut-flour mixture and melted butter alternately into egg mixture, beginning and ending with nut-flour mixture. (Be careful not to over-mix or batter will deflate.)
Divide batter equally between two prepared torte pans. Bake tortes for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into centers come out clean.
Transfer tortes to cooling racks. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes. Invert tortes onto racks and alloe to cool completely.
Making the Frosting:
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and orange zest until creamy. Sift powdered sugar gradually into cream cheese mixture. Continue to beat until light and fluffy. Cover and refrigerate until frosting is firm enough to spread, about 30 minutes. (Frosting can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)
Making the Pears:
Place raspberries, sugar and orange juice in a skillet. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer over medium heat until berries break down, about 5 minutes.
Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth and strain back into skillet.
Bring puree back to a simmer over medium heat. Add pear wedges and stir to coat. Simmer until pears are just tender, about 8-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove pears and drain on paper towels.
Reserve the raspberry puree.
(The pears can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover pears and puree separately and refrigerate.)
Making the garnish:
Toss fresh cranberries with 1/2 cup sugar. Transfer cranberries to a plate. Cover and freeze. (Can be prepared up to one week in advance.)
Finishing the torte:
Place 1 torte layer on a platter. Spread top with 1 cup frosting. Top with second torte layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Press remaining 3/4 cup pecans onto sides of torte. Arrange poached pears around top of torte. Garnish with frozen cranberries. Brush pears with reserved raspberry puree.
To serve, drizzle raspberry puree onto dessert plates and top with a torte slice.
We used The Gluten Free Pantry’s Country French Bread Flour Mix for the gf flour in this recipe (www.glutenfree.com).
To toast pecans, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pecans onto a jelly roll pan and place in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.