More than 4 years ago, I was in Amsterdam on a business trip (yes, shopping for apparel samples) and we stopped for dinner at this little ‘boite’ called Van Kerkwijk on a street named Nes 41, right behind Dam Square (we had lots of jokes about that location…time to go to the Dam Square, etc).  I have no idea how to pronounce the name of the restaurant, not even close.  Anyway, the place had no menus, they just told us what the kitchen had that evening.  I don’t remember exactly what I had to eat, EXCEPT for dessert.  There was a huge round dense cake that everyone was ordering.  The waiter called it a pear cake, and it was served with a dollop of sour cream.  Strange, but surprisingly good.  So good, that I can not get it out of my head.  I am desperate to recreate it at home, and I have scoured the Internet repeatedly to find a similar recipe but so far, have been unsuccessful.

I have written to Bon Appetit begging them to try and persuade the elderly sisters who own the place to spill the beans.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, I made this over the weekend…

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The recipe is from the lovely blog, Manger.  Hers is called ‘Italian Pear Cake’ and was light and delicious, but not remotely similar to the cake I had in Amsterdam.  I used white peaches instead of pears (since they’re not in season now) and the recipe called for corn starch, which I thought a bit odd, but it made for a delicate texture.  I cooked it wrapped in parchment, which is the same way the cake was baked in Amsterdam.  This would make a wonderful breakfast ‘coffee’ cake of sorts as its not dreadfully sweet.

If anyone out there knows of a very dense, rich Dutch ‘perentaart’ recipe, I would be forever grateful!!  Until then, I’ll keep trying…

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