A few years ago, a blogger friend Finla posted a picture of a beautiful pear cake. I asked for the recipe and meant to make it soon. It has taken me almost 2 years. Every time I would buy pears, I’d imagine that beautiful cake, then life would take over and they would languish in the fruit bowl, or perish in the fridge and no cake would be made.
Last week, I had a day to myself and the choice was between making gulab jamoon from a packet mix I got for free with something else or baking a cake. I was on a roll that day, I had to make a cake for my driver’s daughter and decided it was the right muhurtham to make the pear cake.
The batter is pretty straight forward and comes together quite easily with standard baking ingredients. It was similar to the strawberry cake that took the blogging and instagramming world by storm a couple of years ago. It was one of the most beautiful batters I have made. One can make out that it is going to be a lovely cake just by looking at the batter after a few years of baking.
Finla’s recipe calls for fresh ginger, I didn’t have any so I used dried ginger. Fresh would have tasted way better, but this cake would have never gotten baked if I had waited to go get some! Her recipe was in weight measures, but I always use cups, so everything has been converted for cup measures.
The hint of citrus from the orange juice and the ginger gives this cake beautiful undertones. The combination of a buttery batter, pear, orange and ginger is a really good one. In her recipe, Finla topped it with a chocolate ganache, I skipped that because I loved the cake on its own, plus I am not the world’s biggest chocolate fan! Try this cake for when you want a light snack for tea time, or to pack into your child’s lunch box. Am sure you will love it!
Pear and Ginger cake
2 tsp fresh ginger grated (I used powdered dried ginger)
2 ripe pears
2/3 cup soft butter + extra for the pan
1 tablespoon lemon zest (I used orange zest)
1/4 cup Orange juice (I added this the original recipe did not have this)
2/3 cup Sugar (can use light brown, I used white)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence/ extract
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour + extra for dusting the pan
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoon Almond meal (I did not add this)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and butter and line a baking pan with baking paper. I used a 7×7 inch square pan.
Peel and slice the pears, sprinkle with a few teaspoons of the lemon/orange juice and set aside.
Whisk the butter and sugar till pale, fluffy and doubled in volume. Don’t skip this step because it ensures that your cake rises well and is fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between. Add the vanilla, orange / lemon zest and ginger, whisk well.
Mix the orange juice with the milk and set aside. In a bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and salt, mix in the almond meal if using. Add the flour mix and milk alternatively into the butter and eggs mixture and gently fold using a spatula. Make sure not to over-mix the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, arrange the pear slices on top and bake for 40-45 minutes at 180 C till done or a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool completely, dust with icing sugar or chocolate sauce and serve.
This cake stays fresh at room temperature for 2 days. Because of the fresh pears, it is best to refrigerate it if keeping for any longer.
Gently reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds before serving.