This pear cake is definitely my kind of dessert; not too sweet and using one of my favourite fruits. The combination of a little bit of lemon zest also flavours the cake beautifully and gives it a quintessentially Italian taste. I definitely recommend you try this cake when you have some very ripe pears that you want to use up- the result is definitely very rewarding! The recipe is super easy too, quite a basic cake recipe with ground almonds to give it an extra-moist texture, with some almond essence to enhance the almond flavour throughout the cake. So definitely give it a go as it is a lovely cake that everyone will really appreciate; it goes especially well with a cup of coffee!
250g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
50g plain flour, sifted
250g ground almonds
1 tsp almond essence
grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
4 ripe pears, peeled and halved
icing sugar for dusting OR melted chocolate for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4. Line the base of a 20cm spring-form cake tin, or a tart tin with greaseproof paper.
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until soft. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding some flour after each addition, until all the eggs and flour have been included.
- Fold in the almonds, almond essence, lemon zest and juice. Make 6 cuts lengthways in each pear half, without cutting all the way through.
- Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth over. Top with the fanned out pears. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. If the cake browns too quickly, cover with a piece of foil. Cook and dust with icing sugar or drizzle with melted chocolate. Allow to cool and then serve with either icing sugar sweetened mascarpone cheese or whipped cream, if you so wish.