Where I’m from it’s the middle of Autumn and the nights are starting to get cooler. And I don’t know about you, but Beurré Bosc pears seemed like the perfect herald to Winter. It’s not yet cool enough for rhubarb and poached pears, however, so I decided to make a lazy ‘rustic’ pear cake.
The recipe called for caster sugar, but I chose to use brown sugar (to get that wonderful caramel flavour that matches the pears). Also, I don’t have either vanilla sugar or vanilla beans, so the vanilla sugar I made used vanilla essence. It led to wet-sand-like sugar, but in this instance it didn’t matter. As well as this, my wholemeal flour was self-raising (the recipe called for plain) so I used that, and replaced the self-raising white flour with plain white flour.
When making the base, I found that it was a lot easier to mould by hand, because the heat from my hands melted the butter a bit, making the dough more malleable.
Rustic Pear Tea Cake
Recipe from Not Quite Nigella
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1 cup plain flour
1 cup brown sugar
125g melted butter
2 tsp vanilla
600g Beurré Bosc pears
3Tbs vanilla sugar
Mix the flours, brown sugar, egg, butter and vanilla to make the dough.
Line the bottom of a 20cm cake tin with 3/4 of the dough.
Layer the pears on top.
In clumps, scatter the remaining dough on top of the pears, making sure to push it into the cracks.
Scatter the vanilla sugar on top.
Cook for 40 – 45 minutes, at 180°C.
Allow to cool before serving.