Pear and Ginger Cake
I used conference pears but other varieties will be equally suitable. If the pears are really hard then you should peel and quarter them and poach in a light syrup – ½ pint water with 25g sugar -for 5 minutes only.
4 pears – medium sized, peeled and quartered – then sliced again
250g self raising flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
300g syrup/ treacle (half and half is fine)
50g crystallised stem ginger cut into peerie pieces
1 inch piece fresh root ginger – finely grated or a rounded teaspoon ground ginger
3 eggs – lightly beaten
Light the oven to 200ºC and line an 8 inch cake tin with baking parchment.
Prepare the pears and have ready on a plate
Sieve the flour, baking powder and ground ginger (if using) on to a plate
Melt the butter, syrup and treacle in a large pan – do not boil. Cool slightly.
Add the chopped ginger and grated root ginger, if using.
Add the flour mixture then the eggs. Mix with a spatula and immediately pour into the tin.
Quickly arrange the pear pieces beautifully over the top and push down slightly into the mixture.
Get the cake straight into the centre of the oven for about 1 hour. The reason for the urgency is that the raising agent will have started working in the warm mixture.
After 45 minutes reduce the heat to 150ºC gas 5.
Allow to cool completely in the tin, but first brush a little of the syrup from the jar of ginger over the top of the cake to give a lovely sticky shine.