Pear, stem gin­ger and se­same cake

The Guardian Weekly - - Culture - By Yo­tam Ot­tolenghi

This is some­where be­tween a cake and a pud­ding, and con­sists mainly of fruit, with min­i­mal amounts of flour, sugar and but­ter. It is truly lux­u­ri­ous served warm with cream. For the best re­sults, use ripe and but­tery (rather than firm) pears.


40g un­salted but­ter

75g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Finely grated zest of 1 le­mon (2 tsp)

2 eggs, beaten

75g plain flour

1 tsp bak­ing pow­der

30g se­same seeds, lightly toasted and roughly blitzed


4 wil­liams pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm cubes (450g net weight)

50g stem gin­ger, roughly chopped

2 tbsp stem gin­ger syrup

150ml dou­ble cream, whipped to soft peaks, to serve


Heat the oven to 170C (160C fan)/ 350F/gas 4. Line and grease a 20cm spring­form cake tin.

In a small saucepan on a medium heat, melt the but­ter un­til it has a deep, nutty aroma and has turned am­ber – about eight min­utes. Pour into a large bowl and re­frig­er­ate for 15 min­utes, un­til cool.

Put the sugar, vanilla and le­mon zest in the but­ter bowl, beat with a spat­ula, then stir in the eggs un­til com­bined. Add the flour, bak­ing pow­der, se­same seeds and an eighth of a tea­spoon of salt, stir to com­bine, then fold in the pears and chopped gin­ger. Trans­fer the bat­ter to the cake tin and bake for 40 min­utes, un­til golden brown on top (a skewer will not come out com­pletely clean, but shouldn’t be too wet).

Brush the gin­ger syrup over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven, then leave to cool for about 20 min­utes. Re­lease the cake from its tin and serve warm with whipped dou­ble cream.

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