This caramelised pear and ginger slice is the perfect Winter warmer. Pop it in the oven and let your home fill with the delicious scents of gingery goodness.
In the last few weeks I’ve made a discovery about myself. I’m allergic, or intolerant, to citrus fruits. I know, right. Let me fill you in on a bit of back story. Many years ago, when we were but wide eyed young girls first starting Pet Lamb, I had to bake hundreds of cupcakes in my teeny tiny kitchen. We’d take them to farmers markets and sell them from a little folding table in the worst weather conditions imaginable, those days hardened us, I swear! Still being new to the commercial baking game, I was unaware of proper piping bags, big enough to ice twenty four cupcakes in one go. Instead I’d pick up a pack of ten from my local supermarket, barely big enough to hold the frosting to decorate a cake for Tinkerbell. Imaging icing three hundred cupcakes with those suckers! I mean they’re just terrible, the frosting would burst out of the top of the bag, covering my hands with sticky butter and sugar. Gross! So I started wearing latex gloves, big mistake! Turns out I’m allergic to latex and my body was covered in the angriest hives you’ve ever seen. All because I wore those damn gloves something was awakened in me. My body decided it didn’t just hate latex but pretty much everything in the world. I lived for 10 years with chronic hives, every day of my life I’d wake up with smooth skin only to break out in red blotches as the day went on. I was so depressed, it was hard. Eventually I grew to accept that this was just something that would never go away, I’d been to see many doctors (SO MANY DOCTORS) and every single one simply prescribed stronger and stronger antihistamines. Guess what, my body hates them too, mega hives! Sigh!
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I started reading up on high histamine foods and educating myself in the view to try and find out why I’m lumpy monster every day, when I saw that citrus fruits are super high on the list. Normally I’d eat two tangerines every single morning for my breakfast without a second thought. Pair that with a glass of orange juice, nibbling on oranges and grapefruits, I was eating a lot of citrus. ‘I’ll avoid them for a week, see what happens’ I thought, not expecting anything to change. Guess what, dear reader, I stopped getting rashes.
Ok, not completely. I’m still allergic to latex and extreme temperature changes still has my skin going wild, but I no longer have my daily problem spreading down my arms and legs. Hurrah! Except I miss oranges, I miss tangerines and grapefruits and a tall glass of pulpy orange juice. They’re off limits now. So I’ve switched to pears.
Since my fruit bowl is now overflowing with pears I realised that it’s been so long since I last used them in a bake. I’ve no idea why, I love pears and if I ever see them in a cake you know I’m gonna eat it. Pear them (pear, geddit?!) with ginger and I’m sold. Pear and ginger are best friends and you should never ever try to come between them. Just don’t do it.
The batter for this cake is very thick, so thick you’ll think you’ve made a mistake. Don’t worry, I did too. You’ll painstakingly spread it out, pop it in the oven and expect the worst. Except the worst doesn’t happen, instead you’re greeted with a delicious smelling, spongy treat begging to be eaten warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Hurray.
For the caramelised pears:
- 4 conference pears
- 60g unsalted butter
- 50g light brown sugar
For the cake:
- 125g unsalted butter
- 75g light brown sugar
- 125ml water
- 175g golden syrup
- 250g plain flour
- 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1tbsp ground ginger
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- extra golden syrup for drizzling
- Peal and quarter the pears and put to one side. Melt the butter and sugar together in a large, heavy bottomed frying pan over a low heat. Add the pears to the pan and simmer in the caramelised butter for 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the pears to a plate to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 140C and grease and line a 21x29cm rectangular pan with baking parchment.
- In a large saucepan melt the butter, sugar, water and syrup together over a low heat. Once melted increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Once boiled remove from the heat and stir in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices. The batter will be very thick and sticky. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Poke the pears into the top, gently pushing them into the batter.
- Bake for 1hr or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before using the overhanging baking parchment to lift it onto a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
- To serve dust with some icing sugar and drizzle with a little extra golden syrup.
- This cake is best eaten on the day it’s made.
- Eat warm from the oven with a scoop of ice cream and drizzled with golden syrup for a delicious treat.
Keywords: Cake, Ginger, Pears, Slice, Cinnamon, Autumn, Winter