You are going to love this Pear Tea Cake! It is simply loaded with pears and has a light lemon scent.
This Pear Tea Cake is great for morning tea or even for breakfast but serve it with a scoop of really good vanilla ice cream and maybe a little whipped cream and you’re in for a dessert treat!
Where did this recipe originate?
The recipe for this cake is adapted from one by the lovely Lorraine Elliott of Not Quite Nigella. I met Lorraine in 2012 when I had been blogging for three years. Lorraine had been blogging at Not Quite Nigella since 2007 and had been making a living from her blog for quite some time. Lorraine is beautiful inside as she is on the outside and willingly spoke to our little group, giving inspiration and, most of all, direction. Since then I have been totally motivated by Lorraine. Whether it’s her amazing photography, interesting and fun stories or fabulous recipes, she is a blogger I have learnt so much from.
Consequently, I regularly pop into Not Quite Nigella to see what Lorraine has been up to and try some of her recipes. This one caught my eye a couple of years ago. Lorraine’s version contained chocolate chips but it was the gorgeous hasselback pears on the top that caught my eye. A version of this cake is served the Hotel Ai Lumi in Trapani, Sicily for breakfast as is often the case in Italy. And the same as my yogurt cake recipe, which is one of those Italian breakfast favourites, this Pear Tea cake is also perfectly at home on the dessert table. I have adapted this recipe slightly and the results speak for themselves.
Tips for success
Use ripe pears that are not super soft. Don’t press the pears heavily into the batter as they will disappear from sight as the batter bakes and rises. And most of all, check if the cake is done by inserting a skewer under the pears as this is where the batter will take the longest to cook through.
Pear Tea Cake Recipe
- ½ cup/ (125ml) light olive oil
- ¾ cup (150g) superfine (caster) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- grated rind of one lemon or ½ teaspoon lemon oil/extract
- 5 tablespoons (75ml) thick Greek yogurt
- 2 cups (250g) cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- pinch salt
- 5 pears
- Preheat oven 350ºF/180ºC. Grease a 9in/23cm springform pan.
- In an electric stand mixer bowl place oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Using the whisk attachment whisk together at medium/high speed until thick and pale. Mixture will increase in volume.
- In the meantime peel pears, halve and core. Cut 2 pears into small pieces. With remain pear halves cut side down, slice thinly, hasselback style, being careful not to cut all the way through.
- Add the lemon rind/extract and yogurt and whisk on slow until just combined.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt.
- With mixer on slow add in flour mixture until just combined.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently stir in the 2 chopped pears.
- Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan.
- Top with 6 pear halves, cut side up. Press only lightly into the batter as the batter will rise.
- Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Test with a skewer under the pears. Please see my notes regarding cooking time.
- Allow to stand for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool. Or eat it warm!
- Cooking time may vary. I have had a reader say that her cake was done in 45 minutes. In my oven this cake to an hour and 15 minutes for the batter under the pears to be fully cooked.
- Some tips on baking times for cake –
- The cake starts to pull away from the sides slightly
- The batter is springy and there is no more jiggle
- A skewer insert into the middle of the cake comes out clean. I find if a cake has a crack, insert the skewer there, that’s where it will be the least cooked. In the case of this Pear Tea cake, push the skewer sideways under the pear, that’s where it will be the least cooked.
- Listen to the cake, it will have stopped sizzling.
- Let your nose be your guide. You will find the house will be filled with a glorious smell just before the cake is done.