1kg of pears – peeled
In a large saucepan bring 6 cups of water to the boil.
1 tablespoon of honey
1 stick of cinnamon/casia bark
8 juniper berries
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
1 split vanilla bean
Bring to the boil for 2 minutes.
Add the pears.
Bring to the boil then lower to a simmer.
Simmer until the pears are tender, 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the pears.
Remove the pears.
Strain the spices from the poaching liquid.
Bring to the boil and reduce the liquid to 3/4 cup.
Cool the pears (ideally overnight)
Slice and remove core
3/4 cup caster sugar (or 3/4 cup of reduced pear juice)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted (I used fine self raising spelt flour)
1/2 cup milk (you may need to add more or less depending on the texture of the cake)
the zest of 1/2 a large lemon (or a whole small lemon)
With and electric mixer beat butter, sugar/pear juice, eggs.
When smooth add the milk, vanilla, and lemon zest, then slowly incorporate the flour.
Stop as soon as the mixture is smooth.
Preheat oven to 160 degrees
Line your cake tin, Pour in HALF the cake mix
Lay HALF the pears on the top of the batter
Pour remaining cake mix over and smooth it out, lay the remaining pears on the top.
Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes
TURN OFF THE OVEN – Leave in the oven for 20 minutes
Remove from the oven
Sit IN THE TIN for 20 minutes
Allow to cool. (When it comes out of the oven, it almost has a crust. If you store it overnight it becomes lovely and fluffy)
* it is a nice touch to glaze it with maple syrup, warm 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and brush over the cake. *
Store in a Tupperware.
Serve after popping in the microwave for 30 seconds – it’s so soft, warm, and fluffy. It is nice on it’s own or with a dollop of custard.