From flower to cake

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The pears, plums and apples have all done well this year and the branches are heavy with fruit.

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We have one pear tree in our garden growing against the south-facing back wall. I don’t know how old it is as it was already here when we moved in but it’s not a big tree. I think it’s a Conference – they look like Conference pears and they taste like Conference pears. Anyway, it’s been a good year for pears (and most fruit, I think) and we have lots and lots.

My family aren’t great pear fans, so I’ve been looking for different recipes to use them up. I made this Sticky Pear and Ginger Cake this morning and it’s been a big hit. (I didn’t follow the recipe exactly – I chopped all the pecans and added them to the cake mix and I omitted the syrup.) You could eat it warm as a pudding with yogurt or cream, but it’s delicious just as it is – moist, spicy and pear-y. I’ll definitely make it again.

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My mum and I also made some pear and ginger conserve a few weeks ago. This wasn’t as successful. The taste is lovely but it doesn’t work as a jam; it looks a bit like pineapple chunks in jelly! If I make it again, I’ll chop the pears up much smaller and use grated cooking apple to increase the pectin. I think we’ll be eating this alongside ice cream.

Have you found any new ways to use up your produce? If you have a favourite pear recipe, I’d love to hear it!

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29 thoughts on “From flower to cake

  1. I love pears but keep them in the fridge because they go woolly so quickly. I make a pear frangipane tart with Williams pears and poach Conference pears in red wine to serve with billowy whipped cream. Comice pears are a special treat which we eat at Christmas.

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  2. Mmm, lots of deliciousness. The jam looks delicious, it will no doubt be perfection with ice-cream. I had the grand total of one pear this year, from my two pear trees. Last year was a bumper year though, so I think they’re having a rest. CJ xx

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  3. I like your pear pear. We have plenty of apples this year but only one solitary pear from three trees, so no pear preserves for us. Like CJ, we had a bumper crop last year so I’m not complaining.

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  4. How lovely to have a bumper crop of pears – something I look forward to in future years! I think any recipe made with apples can be substituted with pears. I also love pear pie, pear frangipane tart, pear cake, stewed pears, and so on! The only disappointment I’ve had was a Rachel Allen recipe for Pear and Nutmeg cake. The pear slices are arranged over the cake batter and slowly sink during cooking which is meant to happen but leaves the bottom of the cake really wet. Not good. (Although quite tasty!) I still have the 3 pears from my pear tree this year – I might give your cake a go, it sounds delicious. Caro x

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    1. The pear pieces sunk in this cake too but it didn’t suffer for it. I do love a frangipane tart so I’ll give a pear one a go. I’ll have to up my dog walking distance to work off all the calories!

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  5. Lucky you to have so many good pears! The cake looks lovely.

    We used to have a wonderful pear tree in our garden in Bristol, and each year bottled lots in a red wine syrup with some spices added (Kilner jar type of bottling). They were delicious, and the pears in red wine just needed some plain yoghurt or creme fraiche for a perfect simple dessert (or vanilla ice cream).

    Sometimes I buy a box of pears from our greengrocer to relive that experience.

    Am considering planting a couple of pear trees this year (but they’ll be maidens and take a long time before they produce).

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    1. Bottling them is a great idea. I love the idea of having a couple of jars tucked away for a taste of pear-y loveliness in winter. I’ve been thinking about getting a different variety tree too. I look forward to hearing about yours.

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  6. Pear blossom is my favourite. How about pear belle Helene? Poached pears arranged over vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate sauce poured over. Delicious and easy. Pear frangipani tart is very popular here too.

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  7. Yum! I love the taste of pear. For my birthday Judy bought a pear and raspberry pie – excellent. There’s also a kind of Serbian pear liqueur called Kruskovac that’s very good, and I don’t normally like liqueurs.

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  8. You are so lucky to have a pear tree! The cake looks wonderful, and I’m sure by now it is long gone. Have you ever tried dehydrating pears? They are delicious, and easy to do.

    You asked about my mug. Yes, it’s a Herdy mug. I have a blue one and a green one, and they are my very favourites. I ordered mine from a yarn shop in Eastern Canada. 🙂

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    1. I’ve not tried dehydrating pears, or any other fruit for that matter. I’ll look into it. Thanks for the tip. How lovely that you have Herdy there in BC.

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  9. Brilliant post, love the pear made out of pears. I made a good pear, chocolate and hazelnut cake last October but we don’t eat a lot of pears which is shocking considering Worcester has it’s own pear.

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    1. But you do have all those quinces to get through… Pear, choc and hazelnut cake sounds delicious. We still have quite a few pears, so I’ll make one this weekend 🙂

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