NZ Woman's Weekly

The best pear cake – from Annabelle White’s kitchen

  • Meal Type

  • Total time

    5+ hours

This week we are starting a new kitchen dialogue in this space. We will present our favourite foodies and share great recipes, tips and suggestions to unite all of us who love to cook, nurture, share and care.

In essence, we will feature true foodies talking without pretence or fancy culinary qualifications – people who simply get excited about food. It’s in their eyes and hearts and it can never be disguised. This pear cake is one of my absolute favourites.

Top with summer fruits or fresh figs or even feijoa. If using apple and summer fruits, use cinnamon instead of ginger. It can sometimes slightly cave in as it cooks in the centre – but fear not – that’s its character and it’s delicious. Happy cooking!

What I love about this cake is its simplicity. It’s designed to be placed in the oven and then you just go about your business – how good is that?

The Best Pear Cake

125g butter
¾ cup white sugar
2 number 6 eggs
1 tsp almond essence
1¼ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¹/³  tsp salt
225g sour cream
30g ground almonds
3 pears, skin on and cut into thin slices
1 heaped tbsp demerara sugar
A pinch of ground ginger

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Line the base of a 23cm cake tin with baking paper and coat the paper and sides with anti-stick spray.

2. Cream butter and sugar well. Beat in eggs one at a time until combined, then add the essence.

3. Sift dry ingredients over mixture and at the same time, add the sour cream and almond meal. Fold in carefully until well combined – the mixture should be quite thick.

4. Spoon into pan and very lightly press in the cut fruit (cut-side up). The fruit should be crowded, but in a single layer.

5. Sprinkle demerara sugar and ginger evenly over fruit, and put cake into oven, turning down to 180ºC straightaway. Put the auto bake on, setting for 50 to 60 minutes – this way your oven will turn itself off. Next morning, remove the cake from the oven.

6. Serve with combined whipped cream and natural yoghurt.

Cook’s Tips: You can use other stoned fruit (plums, peaches, apricots) instead of pears, and if using fresh figs, replace almond essence with rose water. If you’re making it as an apple cake, add cinnamon to the demerara sugar.

  • Freezes well. Cut into portions first.
  • Serve with a side of some of the same fruit. Poached pears are delicious in a sugar syrup with a little crystallised ginger.

About Annabelle White

Annabelle was born and raised in New Zealand and while she does not have formal chef’s training her love of “great honest cooking” came from watching her mother cook every day after school.

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