This Italian pear cake is so elegant in its simplicity. This is why it is my husband’s favourite cake. He is not really a ‘cake’ person, but this one makes him very happy, especially with a perfect cup of espresso. My aunt gave me this recipe and I am ever so grateful. Her husband was Italian and she always has a magic touch in the kitchen. The most important ingredient are ripe pears. We are a big family and love having platters of seasonal fruits on the kitchen table, and it’s always a pleasure to finish off over-ripe fruits. So I use old pears for this cake – they melt in beautifully. The corn starch makes the cake fluffier and airy, very Italian style. Just how I like it.
This recipe is easy and the result is grand.
3 ‘very’ ripe pears – peeled & cut into chunks
150 g/ 1 & 1/4 cup plain flour, sifted
150 g/ 3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
30 g/ 1/4 cup corn starch
1 pinch salt
90 g/ 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp butter (slightly melted)
Icing sugar (to sprinkle/ decorate on cake)
Whipped cream (optional)
Pre-heat the oven 180°C. Cream the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, corn starch, salt and baking powder together. Add the flour mix and stir well, add the butter till the batter is smooth. Line a 24 cm cake pan with parchment paper, and pour in the batter. Peel the skin off the pears, cut in chunks and drop them on the cake, gently pushing down each piece of pear. It doesn’t matter if the pear sticks out of the cake it will all blend in. Bake for 30 minutes max. Leave to cool before serving. When cool sprinkle icing sugar on cake. Serve with whipped cream on the side.