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Autumn is with us and pears are in season. Gingerbread and parkin are Bonfire Night specialities, however this ginger cake is light and good at any time. I have included a few pieces of stem ginger to give a little more depth of flavour but this is optional.

Using the melting fat method it is easy to make.

The cake is best made 1-2 days before eating for it to mature.

You will need a 20cm/8in sandwich cake tin with a removable base.


  • 3 firm conference pears – short and rounded are best.
  • 110g (4oz) margarine
  • 225g (8oz) golden syrup
  • 50g (2oz) golden caster sugar
  • 325g (11oz) plain flour
  • 1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 level tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch salt
  • 25g (1oz) ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • optional: 3 pieces stem ginger in syrup
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • Method:

Line the tin with double thickness of greaseproof paper and grease it. In a saucepan gently heat the margarine, syrup and sugar without letting it get too hot. Remove from the heat.

Heat the oven to Gas 3/170C

Pears: peel and halve them down through the core. Remove the round core with a small teaspoon or a melon baller (Parisienne cutter)

Lay them cut side down on a board and cut slices across without separating them to keep the pear shape. Leave on one side.

Into a bowl sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and salt. Add the ground almonds and make a well in the centre.

Mix the egg with the milk and stir into the bowl with the melted mixture. Add the stem ginger if used, chopped into small pieces. Put into the tin.

Carefully lift the sliced pears in one piece and place them on top, rounded ends outwards.

Bake for 1¼-1½ hours until it feels firm in the centre.

Leave in the tin for a few minutes before removing.

Glaze: Sieve the apricot jam and heat it. Brush liberally over the cake. Leave the lining paper on, and when cold wrap in foil. Leave it to mature for 1-2 days.

Note: Melon ballers are available from Lakeland.

Posted in Recipes on Nov 01, 2016