For my Mom’s birthday, I decided to make the Buttermilk Cake with Lemon-and-Thyme-Glazed Pear Compote from the September Bon Appétit issue. At first, the recipe seemed daunting with all those flavors in the title, the steeping, the simmering. I was going to withdraw and bake my standard chocolate, which does have buttermilk in it… But then I got some pears. And remembered I have thyme growing. And I suddenly decided to brave up and make a double recipe.
I love layer cakes, but didn’t know how well a compote would hold up the top layer. So, I opted for a sheet cake. Without any crème fraîche or sour cream on hand, I made a switch to Buttermilk Cake recipe #2, omitting the raspberries and sprinkled sugar. The pear compote took its sweet time reducing, but it was well worth it. The result was a fine fall birthday cake, but I think this would make an even better breakfast cake. Next time I might forgo the lemon and thyme and just add cinnamon or cardamom to the compote to accentuate the autumn fruit. And the nice thing is, I have leftover buttermilk, which will go right into a chocolate cake.