This is another recipe using the pears kindly given to us by a friend. The pears are Conference but you could use any eating variety. The cake is my almond cake batter – light and moist. This pear cake is very good with lots of cream as a dessert or indeed with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Shaheen recently made a wonderful chocolate pear crown cake that looks fantastic, take a look at the post on her blog about it for more pear cake inspiration.
4-5 pears (the ones I used were quite small)
2 tbsp caster sugar
175g softened butter
175g caster sugar
150ml natural yoghurt ( I use Greek yoghurt)
1 tsp almond extract
200g ground almonds
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Grease and line a 23cm springform pan and preheat the oven to 160°c, gas mark 3.
Peel the pears and remove the base and the stalk. Slice the pear through but keep the top intact so that you can fan the pear out. You will see from the picture that I wasn’t entirely successful at keeping the pears in fans but it doesn’t matter too much. Melt the butter in a pan that is large enough to take the pears in a single layer. Add the sugar and swirl until melted. Add the pears and cook for about 10 minutes over a medium heat until they become a lovely caramel colour. Set aside and allow to cool a little while you make the cake batter.
Beat the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, whisking well between each addition. Add the yoghurt and the almond extract and beat well.
Add the ground almonds, flour and baking powder and fold in carefully.
Put the batter into the cake tin and level the top. Place the caramelised pears on top, fanning them out as you go.
Place the tin into the centre of the preheated oven (the baking oven of the Aga) and cook for about 1 hour until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for about ten minutes in the tin. Then turn out upside down onto a plate, remove the base and turn the right way up onto a wire rack to finish cooling. You could serve it warm or cold with lots of cream (and those poached pears if you wanted to).