Autumn is a wonderful time for bounteous British produce, including vine, bush and tree fruits. I love baking with ginger and the whole family are quick to devour any of the resulting biscuits or cakes. Pears are a great ingredient for baking with too. Each variety has its own little quirks but on the whole, you can use any pear variety in baking for a similar effect. This is a recipe for a super yummy pear and ginger cake, with the right level of spicy kick.
You will need:
- 20cm round, loose based, deep cake tin, greased with baking paper on the base
- 180g plain flour
- 130g golden caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking power
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 balls stem ginger (usually from a jar with syrup), diced finely
- 3 large eggs
- 100ml natural plain yoghurt
- 100ml vegetable oil
- 4 pears
- 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Peel and slice the pears into thick strips, like chips, with the round sides cut in half. Put to one side.
In a bowl, add the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon and ground ginger. Stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed.
In a separate bowl, add the yoghurt, oil, eggs and stem ginger. Beat with a fork until well combined.
Make a well in the middle of the dry mix and pour the wet mix. Using a wooden spoon, combine gently until well mixed but do not do this for very long, you want a relatively loose mixture.
Pour into your cake tin. Press the pears into the top, to create a ‘dart board’ effect. The top will expand so make sure they are placed tightly together with the round pieces filling in the gaps and the centre.
Place in the oven for 50 minutes. Check the middle is baked with a skewer, it should be clean when removed. Otherwise wait another 5-10 minutes until the skewer is clean.
Cool on a wire rack. The first 10 minutes in the tin, then take the tin away and leave on just the baking paper.