This week the Nelson Grocer is embracing his inner Cockney with “apples and pears”, this blog article comes from local chef and Guest Blogger, Grant Dicker – Find Grant on Facebook.
You can’t tell from the warm weather, but, it’s autumn. What could be more Autumnal than apples and pears?
These days when it comes to apples there are so many varieties of each, how does one choose a good cooking apple?
Granny Smiths, with the green skin are a great apple for baking, as are Cox’s Orange. Then there is Braeburn; a tart firm apple that’s good for apple sauce, but I like them raw in salads too. Their acid makes a great addition to salad dressings.
Now you ask, what about pears? Poached pears, stewed pears, pear in coleslaw, pear tarts, pear sorbet… It’s a big list. I also love roasted pairs, simply tossed in cinnamon and demerara sugar and then into the oven. Serve with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream; simple and delicious.
Now that it’s a bit cooler in the evenings, you are a bit hungrier… One thing leads to another and you need pudding!
Here’s an almond and pear cake recipe that perfectly fits the seasonal bill, served on its own, or with custard and cream.
- 2 firm pears, thinly sliced
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 vanilla pod, scraped of seeds
- 3/4 cup ground almonds
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
- Line a small tart pan or 9-inch cake tin.
- Mix pear slices, 2 tablespoons of sugar, lemon and the vanilla pod and seeds together in a bowl and let macerate for an hour.
- Beat 1/4 cup of the sugar and butter together in a bowl until light and fluffy; add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Mix almond meal and flour into creamed butter mixture to make a smooth batter.
- Drain the pears, reserving the liquid. stir drained liquid into batter just until incorporated.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan, smoothing batter if uneven. Arrange pear slices in a decorative pattern atop batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven until cake is starting to pull away from the edges, about 25 minutes. Allow cake to cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before serving.