Tartine Baking Project: #46 Almond Breakfast Cake with fresh fruit and crumble topping

Brunch is my favorite meal.  Breakfast is nearly as wonderful.  I get excited looking at a menu and deciding between fancy French toast or huevos rancheros.  I get giddy planning out the perfect balance of savory and sweet for my own Sunday brunches.  Even though I taught high school science and I understand this is physically impossible, I’m pretty sure fresh squeezed orange juice runs through my blood.  Either that, or Bloody Marys.

So, when my sister let me know she was coming over this weekend, my first thought went to what I was going to make for Sunday brunch.  One of the last things (maybe the last?!) in the breakfast section of the cookbook was this almond breakfast cake.  I have been so excited to make this!!!  Yes!  You can substitute any seasonal fruit in this breakfast treat.  I opted for sautéing some pears.  I was tempted to grab a pineapple, but the pears literally fell as I walked past them at the grocery store.  I took it as a sign from the lords of fruit, and I followed their call.

I used my mortar and pestle to make almond meal, and varied the types of pears I used for a subtle impact on the flavor. 

Covered in sautéed pears, ready for the crumble topping.  (And, I used a 9″ pie dish because I didn’t have an 8″ glass cake dish.)

If you’ve been following along, I am always paranoid about under baking things.  It gets me so very anxious.  So, with the addition of fresh fruit, it was hard to gauge the doneness of this cake!  There was even a warning about this in the recipe, which increased the anxiety level exponentially.  Worst case scenario: I imagined I’d have a table of friends all watching me slice into a sloppy, wet breakfast cake.

You can see all of the wounds where I was poking around to see if it was done!

Brunch! Scrambled eggs with spinach and aged Vermont cheddar, turkey sausage, blueberries + strawberries, coffee, mimosas, and the almond breakfast cake with sautéed pears.

Not my favorite picture, but it does include my pear mug, which seemed fitting for today.

A cake made for breakfast just may be my favorite brunch treat.  I cannot speak enough wonderful things about this recipe, and I have a high standard for breakfast and brunch staples.  I woke up this morning debating what I am more excited about: baking this breakfast cake with freshly picked raspberries, or the Hunger Games movie.  Don’t make me choose.