It’s not what you think, really. The coconut milk brings a creamy, fatty richness to the cake without a strong flavor, allowing the pears, cinnamon and caramelized sugar to work together in autumnal harmony. The Weetabix were a bit of a whim, an effort to incorporate some whole grains, as all I had on hand was white flour. You could replace the Weetabix with 3/4 c flour or another grain (maybe oats?). On another note, I’ve always been told to place chopped apples or pears in lemon water to prevent them from browning. Not having any lemons on hand, I just tossed the pears in a bowl of regular water. No browning woes.
2 cups pears, cubed, set aside in a bowl of water and a bit of lemon juice
1 3/4 cups flour (whole wheat or all purpose should do fine)
3 Weetabix biscuits, crushed (about 3/4 cup)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup demerara (turbinado) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup coconut milk
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons demerara (turbinado) sugar
Preheat oven to 400°F. Oil and flour a cake tin. I used a single loaf pan, which made a very thick cake. There was enough batter left over that I could have easily made two loaf pans (keeping in mind that the loaf pans here are a bit smaller). I really liked it in the loaf pan, but you could easily make this in a larger pan (9″ X 9″ or round tin). Just lower the baking time.
Incorporate all dry ingredients (flour through walnuts) in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, stir together the wet ingredients (applesauce, coconut milk and olive oil). Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and stir just enough to barely combine all ingredients. Drain the pears and fold them gently into the batter. Pour batter into prepared tin(s) and sprinkle the two tablespoons of sugar over the top. Bake for 55 minutes to an hour. If you use a shallower tin, start checking after 25-30 minutes. The top should be brown and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out mostly clean.
Recipe inspired by this. ( I know, I need to branch out a bit. It’s just so good, though. . .)