Lying in bed during the last weekend of my leave, I opened an e-mail from Happy Foodies and noticed that they were promoting receipes from the ‘Roasting Tin’ series. One of the offerings was this gingerbread pears recipe which looked absolutely mouthwatering. It felt like a no-brainer that I was going to buy pears and bake this that evening and that is exactly what I did.
This is a very easy recipe to make with a simple ingredient list. I missed the memo on ‘slim’ pears and I bought some ‘standard’ sized ones. It meant that I only managed to fit 6 half pears in the batter. I ate the last pear while the cake was baking!
|60g||unsalted butter, plus more for the tin|
|125g||dark brown sugar, plus a few extra pinches|
|2½ cm||fresh ginger, grated|
|1 tsp||ground ginger|
|3||cardamom pods, seeds ground, pods discarded|
|½ tsp||baking powder|
|4||slim pears, halved|
|1||ball of stem ginger in syrup, roughly chopped|
You will need: a 28 x 22cm roasting or baking tin.
Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 25–30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/gas 4 and line and butter a 28 x 22cm roasting or baking tin with non-stick or greaseproof paper.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth, then whisk in the fresh ginger, egg and milk. Stir in the flour, ground ginger, ground cardamom and baking powder and mix briefly until combined.
2. Tip the gingerbread batter into the lined tin, then arrange the halved pears across the cake as shown opposite. Scatter a pinch of dark brown sugar and a few bits of chopped stem ginger over each pear, then transfer to the oven and bake for 25–30 minutes, until the cake is risen and firm to the touch.
3. Let the cake cool down in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring it, with its paper, to a wire rack to cool a little. Serve the gingerbread warm or at room temperature.
Note: As it has fresh fruit in it, you’ll have to store any leftover gingerbread in the fridge. Warm slices through briefly in the oven or microwave before serving.
I cooked the the first time in a smallish pyrex bowl, which meant that the batter took longer to cook, 1 hour in fact. When I cooked in a much larger metal baking tray, the mixture spread thinnner, cooked more or less after the specified 30 minutes and resulted in a much flatter cake.
The final result? A very rich, sweet cake. It was so comforting eating straight out of the oven. It did not last long in our household, making for a nice dessert and an afternoon snack to eat when I went back to work.
I also made it again for a large and rather lovely brunch that I cooked up for my best friend and my mother. All in all, I think this recipe is a keeper, definately one that I am going to keep working on and perfecting.
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