from one generation to the next
Lost, a tatty, food splattered magazine clipping. It’s the recipe for a much loved pear and ginger upside cake. I’d already bought the pears and checked the pantry for treacle and spices, but the recipe wasn’t where I expected it to be. It’s gone.
With friends arriving shortly for Sunday lunch, I urgently searched my “Eat Your Books” index which turned up 161 pear dessert recipes. I made the snap decision to make Jane Grigson’s Springfield Pear Cake on the basis that an EYB user commented that if you want leftovers make two!
I needed to par cook my pears as they were quite firm, but ripe pears can be put directly into the cake once peeled and cored. I had crystallized ginger rather than preserved ginger in syrup, so a few other changes were necessary, but the end result was wonderful and I do wish I’d made two cakes!
This cake is loosely based on Jane Grigson’s Springfield Pear Cake from her Fruit Book.
90g brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
5 beurre bosc pears
Juice of a lemon in cold water
125 g butter
125 g castor sugar
2 large eggs
100g spelt flour
3 level teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
1/4 cup crytallized ginger, finely chopped
Peel, quarter and core the pears. As you work, slip the peeled pears into a small bowl of cold water mixed with the juice of a lemon. This will prevent discolouration.
Drain the pears and lay them on a baking paper lined tray and bake at 160 C for 20-30 minutes. They will just be starting to brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Increase the oven temperature to 170C
Butter a deep 24cm pie dish or shallow cake tin (not springform).
Melt the butter for the top layer, add the sugar and syrup. Continue to stir the mixture over a low hear until thick and caramel coloured.
Pour the caramel into the base of buttered pie dish.
Arrange the pear quarters in a tightly packed circle in the caramel.
Cream the butter and sugar for the cake, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
Add the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, brandy and yoghurt and beat into a smooth batter.
Stir in the chopped crystallized ginger.
Tip the cake batter on to the top of the pears and spread it to the edges of the pie plate.
Bake until the cake is firm to touch in the centre, about 30 minutes.
Remove the cooked cake from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes so the heat dissipates from the syrup a little.
Lay a serving plate over the pie dish and quickly flip it over so the the cake is pear side up on the plate and the syrup flows down the sides.
Delicious with dollop of thick vanilla yoghurt.