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St. Louis, MO 63117
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The end of February is traditionally a time of feasting and rich foods leading up to Mardi Gras. Save the diet for Lent and indulge in this delicious and seasonal dessert. 

Caramelized Pear Cake

4 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Caramel Glaze (see below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast nuts until fragrant about 7-10 minutes, allow to cool completely. Toss together pears and 1 tablespoon sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Beat together the eggs, 2 cups sugar, oil, and vanilla until well blended. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda, and add to egg mixture and gently fold in until just blended. Fold in, by hand, the pears and chopped pecans. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Remove from pan, and drizzle the caramel glaze over the warm cake.

for the Caramel Glaze:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

Stir together brown sugar, butter, and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves and thickens. Allow to cool until thick enough to glaze cake, but glaze the cake while still warm.