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Nicky’s Christmas Recipe – Pear and Almond Pudding Cake

December 11th, 2018

Pear and Almond Pudding cake by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall


Many people are not big fans of all the dried fruit in baking around this time of year. So here is an alternative. It seems to be the ideal cake – one that you can eat warm with cream or natural yoghurt for lunch or cold for afternoon tea!

The ground almonds increase the protein content of this cake which should mean it is less likely to raise your blood sugar levels compared to an ordinary sponge cake.


Serves 6



150g unsalted butter, soft but not melted

125g Caster sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. almond extract

75g ground almonds

75g self raising flour


For the pears

3 still firm if possible but not rock hard – conference are ideal

25g unsalted butter

1 tblsp granulated sugar



Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C, gas mark 3. Grease a 20cm diameter cake tin which is 5cm deep and line the base with baking parchment.

Peel the pears and slice the flesh off ach one in 4 pieces, length wise around the core.

Melt the 25g of butter in a saucepan and let it start to sizzle. Add the tablespoon of granulated sugar  and stir the butter and sugar around together to make a bubbly sauce.

Add the pear slices and fry for a couple of minutes until they start to pick up a few brown flecks. If at any time the pears look as if they are about to fall apart or burn switch off the heat. Put the pan to one side to cool down a little.

To make the cake, put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream together with a wooden spoon until well blended. Break in the first egg and beat this in well. Beat in the other egg with the almond extract.

Fold in the ground almonds and sifted self raising flour.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and gently spread it out with a palette knife.

Pick up the pieces of pear with the wooden spoon, leaving the juices behind and arrange them evenly on top of the cake in whatever pattern you choose.

Oven gloves on. Place the cake in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes.  The cake is ready if, when you slide a knife into the centre , the blade comes out clean.

Stand the hot tin on a  wire rack to cool. If you’ve used a spring form tin, you can unclip the sides to serve. Otherwise it is easier to serve  straight from the tin.



If you have a lot of juice left over after cooking the pears, simmer it for a few minutes to reduce and thicken it slightly ad then pour it over the finished cake to make a nice glaze.






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