PEAR ANISE KUCHEN (for eight to ten)

For the cake:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon anise seed

½ teaspoon anise extract

1 cup all purpose flour

For the pear topping:

3 large ripe pears

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup finely chopped hazelnuts

powdered sugar, for garnish


1.  Preheat oven to 375*.  Butter and flour an 11 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.

2.  Using an electric mixer, beat butter with ½ cup sugar in a large bowl until light.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each addition.  Continue beating until mixture is fluffy.

3.   Blend in vanilla, anise seed and anise extract.  Fold in flour until batter is smooth.  Spoon into prepared pan, spreading evenly.

4.   Peel, halve and core pears.  Cut each half lengthwise into thirds.  Arrange pears decoratively in batter, pressing gently.  Brush immediately with lemon juice.  Sprinkle with hazelnuts and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

5.   Bake until crust is firm to the touch, about 40 minutes.  Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.

from Barbara Fairchild, The Bon Appetit Cookbook

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