Thursday, 6 April 2017

Towerwater pear and almond cake

We are blessed with a generous harvest of fruit this season. The sun ripened pears are a special treat. When a friend sent me a message saying that I must try a pear and frangipane tart, I started to explore the recipes. I understood why she thought I would like it, because frangipane is a filling that tastes like marzipan.

I just love marzipan and as much as I would enjoy this delicious sounding tart, I do not regard myself as much of a baker. I needed something very simple. In the recipe book, Cook and Enjoy, by SJA de Villiers, I found an easy apple cake recipe and I decided to try my hand at baking.

The cake before the hot syrup gets poured over
True to my nature, I decided to experiment by replacing the apples with pears and the vanilla essence with almond essence. What I created was something quite delicious, with the taste of pear and marzipan.

Towerwater pear and almond cake

200ml (4/5 cup) margarine
250ml (1 cup) sugar
2.5ml (½ teaspoon) salt
5ml (1 teaspoon) almond essence
3 eggs, whisked
500ml (2 cups) self-raising flour
200ml (4/5 cup) milk
450g poached pears
25 ml sugar
almond flakes for decoration

Poached pears:
Take a number of ripe pears that are still firm. Peel, core and slice the pears into wedges. Place in pot of water with a suitable length of stick cinnamon and a cardamom pod. Cook until tender but not soft. Let it rest while you prepare the batter.

Beat the sugar and margarine until creamy. Add the almond essence and salt. Add the eggs one by one, mixing thoroughly. Add the flour and milk in turns and mix thoroughly.

Pour half of the batter into a greased baking pan. Add the poached pears and pour the other half of the batter over the pears. Sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon and almond flakes over the top.

Bake for 25 minutes at 190 °C (375 °F) for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180 °C (350 °F) for the last 15 minutes.

Make a syrup by cooking 75ml (6 tablespoons) sugar, 50ml (4 tablespoons) butter and 25ml (2 tablespoons) lemon juice, together for 5 minutes.
Prick the crust of the bake with a tooth pick or fork when it comes out of the oven and pour the hot syrup over.

Serve hot with cream as a teacake or dessert.

I enjoyed the marzipan taste of this cake and decided that it was perfect for pear season at Towerwater.


  1. This pear and almond cake is an unforgettable treat. I don't foresee any further oversupply of pears from the garden.


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