Pear Cake

Posted on July 24, 2010


It’s been a while since I wrote about cake. Having overdosed on cake related items a while ago I have been laying off the baking a little and concentrating on garden produce. It hasn’t helped our waistlines as much as I’d hoped, but it’s the thought that counts.

This recipe is based on the River Cottage Pear and Almond Cake.

Now, I love a cake with ground almonds in, they give a heftiness and damp texture that you don’t get from flour. Add pears, and in my opinion, you are onto a winner.

I saw Hugh making this on the TV programme last year and instantly went online to find it. There were quite a few discrepancies though and people on the River Cottage forum were saying that they made it and it was a disaster as the amounts were incorrect and they seemed to be half of what he showed on the programme. Plus it stated wholemeal flour, which made it too dry.

Let me tell you, this isn’t dry. I worked on the recipe and after a couple of goes I think this is about perfect.

You will need to butter and line a deep 20cm springform tin, this is a big ‘ole cake.

Peel, core and quarter the pears and gently sauté them in a frying pan with a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of sugar until tender.

Beat together the 350g butter and 250g sugar until fluffy. Yes that really is a whole lot of butter. I think the dietitians on Channel 4 must have had a heart attack just reading that so perhaps that’s why they halved the quantities and made it wholemeal.

But if you are having cake you are having cake!

Deal with it.

It’s got fruit in it so it cancels out the cholesterol, don’t you think?

Gradually add the flour and almonds and the lightly beaten eggs. I think the original recipe said 4, but the ones I use aren’t huge so I added an extra one.

Stick with it, its hard work to mix, my little Kenwood hand mixer struggled a bit. If it really is too heavy add a little milk, but it should still be a very thick cake batter.

Scrape your cake mix into the lined tin then place the pears on top in a pretty pattern, pour the lovely syrupy juices from the pan on top too.

Bake at 170-175c for around 70 minutes until a skewer comes out ‘almost clean’. I make a little foil hat to sit on top of the cake for most of the baking time to stop it going too brown and you MUST sit the tin on a baking tray as butter will inevitably ooze out. Sometimes it seems to take longer than 70 minutes, make sure the cake rises up in the middle and is not at all wobbly.

How did that get in there?

I may or may not have had a bottle of beer whilst baking this cake.

Leave in the tin for 10 minutes to cool then pop your springform and enjoy the glory of a cake well done.

Eat it warm if you can, with some creme fraiche or greek yoghurt on the side.

Or if you are George, eat it after saying “Mum, have you taken the picture? Can I eat this now?”

Pear and Almond Cake – Quantities

  • 300g Butter
  • 250g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 150g SR Flour
  • 150g Ground Almonds
  • 5 Medium Eggs (or 4 large ones)
  • 3 or 4 Pears

Printable Recipe: Pear and Almond Cake