Here is the recipe of the pear cake I made last weekend – the one that sent me into a rage because the River Cottage recipe I was using as a guideline was wrong. Anyway, after all the angst and swearing, the resulting amended version was absolutely bloody delicious with a really buttery sweetness and wonderful mellow flavour from the maple syrup, pears and vanilla. I actually managed to eat three slices in quick succession, it tasted that good – I would make this again in a heartbeat!
Based loosely on two recipes by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nigel Slater.
You will need:
For the pear filling:
3 pears peeled and quartered – not rock hard but not too soft either. (I used UK Comice pears in this recipe)
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 pinches cinnamon
For the cake mix:
315g caster sugar
5 organic medium-sized eggs
190g organic wholemeal spelt flour (I used the Dove’s Farm brand)
190g ground almonds
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 tsps baking powder
Line a 23cm springform tin with greaseproof baking parchment. Then you need to cook the pears. Melt the butter over a medium heat in a frying pan, add the pears, maple syrup and cinnamon and bring everything to a simmer – let the mixture bubble away for about 10 mins, and turn the pears occasionally to make sure they caramelise a little. When the pears have browned, turn the heat off and leave to cool down.
Preheat your oven to 180C.
Now to make the cake mix. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale, with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla extract and then beat in one egg at a time, mixing in a little of the flour with each egg. Add the rest of the flour, the baking powder and the almonds, and fold them in.
Pour the cake mix into the tin and arrange the pears on top, like this:
Bake in the oven for about one hour, until a skewer comes out clean when you poke it into the cake.
Delicious on its own or with a dab of creme fraiche.