GROW FOOD slow food Have your garden and eat it too. A practical guide to organic gardening in the sub-tropics with step-by-step instructions and delicious seasonal recipes. Come with me too on some of my travels in Australia, Europe, Asia and beyond.

I don’t know if you are a fan of the River Cottage series from the UK with cook and renaissance man Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – I know I am.  For someone with such a long-winded name he has inherently short-winded recipes with basic ingredients that are easy to follow and always turn out well – can’t ask for anything more.  This beautiful pear cake is based on one of his recipes.  Well, it’s supposed to be with pear, but I had some beautiful organic apples given to me so this one is with apples.  It works equally as well.

3 pears or apples, peeled and chunked
30g butter
1tbs honey or brown sugar
Squeeze lemon juice

300g butter
225 caster sugar
4 eggs
200g almond meal
100g wholemeal self raising flour
1tsp ground cinnamon


  • Pre-heat oven to 170o
  • Place pears, honey, butter and lemon juice in frying pan and cook until caramelized – about 10 minutes.
  • In food processor cream butter and sugar together.
  • Scrape down sides and add eggs one at a time until light and fluffy.
  • Add almond meal, flour and cinnamon and cream together.  Don’t over-beat.
  • Put cake mixture in greased cake tin and spread pear mixture over the top.
  • NOTE:  The larger the chunks of fruit, the more they will sink into the cake which make the cake sticky and delicious.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes (until skewer comes out clean).  You may need to turn oven down to 150o for further 5 minutes or so.  The cake should be firm to touch in the middle.
  • Turn out when cool and sprinkle with icing sugar.
NOTE:  You can make this cake gluten free by substituting the wholemeal flour.  I usually use a mixture of buckwheat and brown rice flour.

We’ve just had a severe weather warning for storms ands floods so I think it’s time to batten down the hatches and put the kettle on.  There goes another clap of thunder!
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