Wishing everyone who’s celebrating today a peaceful and bountiful Thanksgiving.
In our house, we have a tradition of going around the table before the Thanksgiving meal and sharing something for which we are thankful. So, in the spirit of tradition, I thought I’d give a little thanks here, as well.
I’m thankful for family, near and far; for friends old and new, for a roof over my head and more than enough food on the table; for a job that I enjoy and colleagues who I respect; for a husband who is kind and patient; for children who are growing and thriving; for a mother who taught me in word and in action how to be a good parent and person; for health; for freedom; for love. I’m truly blessed.
Oh, and I’m thankful for this cake. It appeared in a piece by Cathy Barrow in the October/November issue of Garden & Gun, and it was love at first sight. I’m turning 38 on Sunday, so I decided to bake it in celebration of Thanksgiving/being two years shy of 40.
Let’s just say that this cake is monumental. With 12 sticks of butter in a recipe that yields 12 servings, you’re only going to want to make this for very special occasions. But make no mistake – you’re going to want to make it.
Conceived by Stella Parks, pastry chef at Table 310 in Lexington, KY, and the author of BraveTart, this cake is a riff on a classic carrot cake. Sort of. In the headnotes for the recipe in the magazine, Parks is quoted: “My parents live in a home built before George Washington was president,” she says. “There are gnarled old pear trees out back—winter pears. Way too hard to eat, but they make a great cake.” With three pounds of pears in the cake, and more for the pear chip garnish, the cake really highlights this seasonal ingredient. Paired (peared?) with the pound of brown butter and an equal measure of pistachios, the flavors combine to create a warm harmony that sings of autumn.
It’s a little time consuming, but it’s well worth it in the end. I promise – it’ll be one more thing to add to your list of things to be thankful for.
Get the recipe here: Stella Parks’ Brown Sugar, Pear & Pistachio Cake