The best pear cake
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- Preheat oven to 200 degC. Line the base of a 23cm cake tin with baking paper and coat the paper and sides with anti-stick spray.
- Cream butter and white sugar well. Beat in number 6 eggs one at a time until combined, then add the almond essence.
- Sift dry ingredients over mixture and at the same time, add the sour cream and almond meal. Fold in carefully until well combined - the mixture should be quite thick.
- Spoon into pan and very lightly press in the cut fruit (cut-side up). The fruit should be crowded, but in a single layer.
- Sprinkle demerara sugar and pinch of ground ginger evenly over fruit, and put cake into oven, turning down to 180 degC straightaway. Put the auto bake on, setting for 50 to 60 minutes - this way your oven will turn itself off. Next morning, remove the cake from the oven.
- Serve with combined whipped cream and natural yoghurt.
Cook's Tips: You can use other stoned fruit (plums, peaches, apricots) instead of pears, and if using fresh figs, replace almond essence with rose water. If you're making it as an apple cake, add cinnamon to the demerara sugar.
Freezes well. Cut into portions first.
Serve with a side of some of the same fruit. Poached pears are delicious in a sugar syrup with a little crystallised ginger.