grated rind of one lemon or 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil/extract
5US tablespoons /75ml thick Greek yoghurt
2cups/250g cake flour
Preheat oven 350F/180C. 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 yoghurt 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.