These adorable, rich cakes, from Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Le Croquembouche in Montreal, are brightened with fresh fruit.
- 2tablespoons(1/4 stick) butter
- 6Anjou pears (3 1/2 to 3 3/4 pounds), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/3cup(packed) golden brown sugar
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 3/4cup(1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for coating cups
- 4large eggs
- 1 1/2teaspoonsvanilla extract
- 1 1/3cupsall purpose flour
- 1teaspoonbaking powder
- 1/2cupapricot jam
- Powdered sugar
- Sliced fresh pear
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in each of 2 heavy large skillets over medium-high heat. Add half of pears to each skillet. Sauté until tender and beginning to brown, 10 to 11 minutes. Add half of brown sugar and half of honey to each skillet. Stir until pears are coated and sugar melts, about 1 minute. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer to bowl. Cover and chill.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray ten 3/4-cup custard cups with nonstick spray, then coat each with butter. Beat 3/4 cup butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar and beat until blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Beat dry ingredients into butter mixture.
- Divide batter among cups. Make well in center of batter in 1 cup. Spoon 1/4 cup pear mixture into well. Repeat with remaining cups and pear mixture. Bake until tester inserted into cake portion comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes.
- Turn cakes out onto plates. Bring jam and 1 tablespoon water to simmer in small saucepan, stirring to loosen jam. Brush jam mixture over cakes.
- Sift powdered sugar over edges of cakes. Garnish with pear slices.