South African pears are in season from February to August. Enjoy the last month of the pear season with this delicious Forelle pear and gingerbread loaf recipe by Tru-Cape. Forelle pears are a smaller bell-shaped pear that are great for snacking and cooking.

Ingredients

Pears

3 Forelle pears
250ml sugar
500ml water
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
Rind of one orange, removed with a potato peeler

Cake batter

125g butter
180ml light brown sugar
125ml golden syrup
125ml molasses
2 extra large eggs
180ml Greek yoghurt
10ml fresh ginger, grated
500ml self-raising flour
10ml ground ginger
5 ml ground cinnamon
5ml mixed spice
3ml ground nutmeg

Salted caramel sauce

100g butter
125ml treacle sugar
160ml fresh cream
60ml golden syrup
Pinch of sea salt flakes

Method

Pears

Peel the pears leaving the stalks intact. Dissolve the sugar in the water in a small pot just large enough to hold the pears. Add the cinnamon, star anise and orange rind. Bring to a simmer and add the pears, making sure they are submerged. Cover and simmer until the pears are tender, about 15 minutes. Don’t let the pears get too soft or they may not hold their shape while baking. Remove the pears and cool completely. This can be done well in advance.

Cake

Cream the butter, sugar, syrup and molasses in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the grated ginger and yoghurt and mix to combine. Sift the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture, beating until well combined. Cut a piece of baking paper to fit the base and up the short sides of a 15 x 25cm loaf pan. Spray well with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon the batter into the tin and push the 3 pears into the batter.

Bake the pear and gingerbread loaf at 170°C for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Carefully remove and place on a rack. Drizzle with the sauce. Reserve some of the sauce to serve separately.

Salted caramel sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a small pot and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to the boil. Simmer for about five minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and cool. Taste to see if it has enough salt. – Tru-Cape

Read more about South African deciduous fruits by clicking on the link.