What better way to enjoy the humble pear than in this delicious cake. The combination of pears, raspberries and almond meal makes a sweet but sour cake with nutty undertones. Served warm with a little whipped cream on the side, it makes a great dessert or the perfect partner to a cup of tea.
Pears make their comeback early in the year, heading into autumn. Actually, the real season pears mark, is the onset of netball season. That time of year when you spend one evening a week at training and all Saturday morning (or so it seems) at the netball courts for inter-club competition. We had a kind of roster happening for a while with netball. One parent took all 4 friends home from school on a Wednesday afternoon and then on to netball practice. This was great because you only ended up going every fourth week.
When it was our turn we seemed to go through an inordinate amount of pears. Although there was always other fruit options on the plate, they’d always ask for more pear. That tells me they must have been in season – when they are sweet and soft, but not too soft. Saturday morning sport is a bit of an institution: a different sport every few months depending on the weather. I admit I complained about it tirelessly, but I kind of missed it once they finished school leaving Saturdays to take on a whole new meaning.
My cake preference is always for one that contains fruit: raspberries, blueberries, apple, the list goes on. In fact, my birthday cake preference is for lemon tart. So I love this cake. The recipe is from Neil Perry, which was cut out of the Saturday paper magazine many years ago. It’s another scrap of paper that is lost then found, and once found, made with love. The mixture tends to be thick and needs spooning into the tin, but the moisture of the pears and raspberries ensures its not heavy or dry when cooked. Enjoy!
- 2 ripe pears
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 180 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 160 grams caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 200 grams self raising flour
- 100 grams ground almonds
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 250 grams fresh or frozen raspberries
- whipped cream, to serve
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a 20 cm spring form cake tin with baking paper.
- Peel, core and roughly chop the pears. Put them in a bowl and add the lemon juice to stop them from browning. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl by beating with an electric mixer until it becomes pale in colour, and the sugar is dissolved.
- Break the eggs into a small bowl and whisk gently with a fork. Add to the butter mixture a little at a time, beating between each addition.
- Combine the flour and almonds and fold into the butter/egg mixture, in 3 separate lots.
- Add the milk and stir through, then add the raspberries and pears and stir gently to combine.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1hr 10 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the tin.
- Serve with whipped cream.