This cake was a hit when I first posted the recipe in 2011. Since pears have come into season, I decided to give the cake another try and it was just as delicious as the first time. This recipe is really more pear than cake, so it makes a nice showcase for late autumn’s bounty.
1 1/2 lbs (680g) soft pears, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2″-3/4″ (1.5cm) chunks
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon brandy
1/4 cup (60g) butter
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (75g) all-purpose flour / plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons (75g) sugar
2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350˚F / 180˚C / Gas Mark 4. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9″ (22cm) round spring-form pan then line the bottom with parchment paper. Set on a baking sheet and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the pear chunks, lemon zest and juice and brandy. Set aside.
Over medium heat in a large saucepan, melt the butter, being careful not to let it brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour, baking powder and sugar. Gradually stir in the eggs, going slowly to prevent scrambling them. Fold in the pears and any accumulated juices then pour batter in the prepared cake tin. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Cool the cake in its tin for a few minutes, then turn out and serve warm.
Adapted from “Anjou Pear Cake” (BBC Good Food October 2010).