Griestorte with fresh pears
Photo by Tamara West
This sponge cake with a slight crunch from the semolina is a tried and true Cordon Bleu recipe, principally used to teach students the technique of incorporating whisked egg whites into a creamed (sponge) mixture. Bake in a 20cm sponge cake tin or I have used a 20cm round cake tin which has sloping sides and gives the cake a great shape. In this case, turn the cooked cake out on to a wire rack; the base of the cake will be the top as it is smaller.
- Heat the oven to 170C. Grease and line the base of a 20cm round cake tin.
- Dust lightly with a little caster sugar and semolina or flour. Tap the tin and tip out any excess. (This will give your cake a golden crust).
- Cream the egg yolks and sugar together until light and fluffy. An electric mixer is good here. Add the lemon zest and 1 Tbsp of juice and continue beating until thick.
- Fold through the semolina and almonds. Leave to sit for 5 minutes to allow the semolina to soften a little.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks or just firm (they should appear to be the same consistency as the sponge mixture) and carefully fold through the sponge mixture, ensuring you do not over fold.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes. The sponge should spring back when pressed with your finger.
- Remove cake from oven and carefully loosen cake from the sides. When cool, split in half.
- Spread a thin layer of cream over the base, then half the sliced pears and top with another thin layer of cream. Place on the top of the cake. Spread with a thin layer of cream and decorate with the remaining sliced pears. Serve immediately.
Serve any remaining whipped cream separately and extra sliced pears if wished. In season, fill with sliced peaches and raspberries.