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Upside-down pear cake

You may want to prepare the pears the day before.

You'll need

  Cake 150 gm caster sugar 80 gm (½ cup) unblanched almonds 60 gm hazelnuts, roasted and peeled 60 gm dessicated coconut 160 gm plain flour 300 gm butter 300 gm granulated sugar 3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked 2 oranges (finely grated rind of) To serve: sour cream or crème Anglaise   Roast pears 6 large under-ripe pears 180 gm granulated sugar 2 lemons (juice of) 50 ml white wine


  • 01
  • For roast pears, preheat oven to 150C. Peel pears and halve lengthways. Place cut-side down in a baking dish, sprinkle over sugar and drizzle with lemon juice and wine. Cover with foil and bake for up to 4 hours or until tender. Cool. Using a melon baller, remove cores and stem. Strain liquid through a sieve and reserve. Pears may be cooked the day before and refrigerated.
  • 02
  • Place caster sugar in a small saucepan, add enough water to dampen and cook over high heat for 10 minutes or until caramel in colour. Pour caramel into a 20cm-round cake pan with high sides and swirl to coat base and sides.
  • 03
  • Process nuts and coconut in a food processor until coarsely chopped, then add half the flour and process to a medium meal. Combine with remaining flour. Using an electric beater, cream butter, sugar and orange rind until fluffy and approximately 3 times its original volume, then add eggs, a little at a time, beating to incorporate each addition before adding next. Using the open palm of your hand, fold nut mixture through creamed mixture until combined.
  • 04
  • Increase oven to 160C. Arrange pears, round-side down, snugly into cake pan, spoon over cake mixture, place in a baking dish and cover base with 5mm of water. Bake for 2 hours or until firm and golden. Allow cake to cool in pan. Warm base of pan over stove to melt caramel, then invert onto a plate. Serve drizzled with reserved pear liquid and sour cream or crème Anglaise.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Late-harvest muscat.

Featured in

Sep 2007

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