Black Sesame and Pear Tea Cake

Black Sesame and Pear Tea Cake

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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup almond flour or almond meal 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup black sesame seeds, divided

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar, plus additional for topping the cake 

1 large egg 
1 large egg yolk 
3/4 cup buttermilk 
1 large ripe-yet-firm pear (fresh or canned), peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch cubes, and tossed with a few spoonfuls flour right before using
 
Preheat oven to 325° Fahrenheit, and butter and flour a loaf pan.

Directions

Sift together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and stir in 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds. Set aside.

Take the remaining 1/2 cup black sesame seeds, and grind them until they form a thick paste (this is easiest in a spice grinder, but with enough patience and scraping, you can use a blender). Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and well combined, scraping down the sides occasionally. Add the sesame paste, and beat another minute, then add the egg and yolk, and beat until pale and fluffy (3-4 minutes).

Fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture until just barely combined, then 1/2 the buttermilk. Repeat, ending with the flour, then fold in the pear. Pour into the loaf pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with a few spoonfuls of sugar. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 1/2 hours (yeah, I know that's a crazy big range, but the reports seem to back it up — mine definitely took the full hour and a half). Let cool in the pan, then turn out, slice, and enjoy.