This is one of my most favorite everyday cakes, since it is reasonably simple to prepare and it includes two of my most favorite flavors, pears and cardamom. I first made this cake at my sister’s house where I pulled the recipe from one of her cookbooks; I then copied the recipe onto the back of a receipt or something similarly scrappish and promptly lost it in a pile of paper; and then I rediscovered it today while cleaning off my desk. The thing is that I didn’t write down whose recipe it is or what book it came from, so if there are any sleuths out there who can clue me in to its origin, please do. Otherwise we’ll all just have to wait until I go to see my sister again.
It is called “Buttermilk Country Cake” and I am positive it is from a Maida Heatter-influenced cookbook. I made a Pear Upside-Down Cake using an actual Maida Heatter buttermilk cake recipe for a dinner party in Alaska, and it was just not the same. For starts, the M. H. version was enormous in comparison, like double-size the progeny’s version, and for seconds, it was a bit drier and tougher (though for that I’ll point to my probable overbeating of batter. M. H. is not to be messed with). The recipe I have for you here is moist-er than the popular Gourmet Magazine buttermilk cake recipe floating about online. For me, it is just right.