I had the best morning with Fleur at the City markets last week! We found some incredible QLD produce and each produced some great recipes.
I love these mini pears from Stanthorpe called 'Paradise Pears', a must for this blog! I dug out the following recipe from my collection, which always goes down a treat. Please try it if you find these little darlings at your local greengrocer, I know that Zone Fresh often have them in season.
Vanilla Pear Almond Cake
8 small Paradie Pears
1 vanilla Bean
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup castor sugar
1 strip lemon rind
125grams butter chopped
3/4 cup castor sugar extra
2/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup plain flour
2/3 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup chopped toasted blanched almonds
1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup almond meal
Peel pears keeping stems intact. Split Vanilla Bean in half and scrape out seeds. Combine Water, sugar, vanilla bean, seeds and lemon rind in a saucepan and heat, whisking until sugar is disolved and seeds are dispersed. Add the pears, cover and simmer for 20minutes until almost tender.Remove pears from syrup and then boil syrup till reduced to 1 cup. Cool and then trim base of pears so they sit flat.
Preheat oven to 160 deg celcius. Grease a 26cm springform tin and line with baking paper.
Beat butter, and extra sugar in a bowl until smooth. Add eggs one at a time until combined. Add cream until combined and then stir in 2 tablespoons of the reduced syrup. Stir in sifted flours, chopped almonds, chocolate and almond meal.
Spead mixture into prepared tin and then push pears down into the mix around the edge. bake in oven for 50 minutes till cooked when tested. remove ring from the pan and cool.
Brush cake with syrup before serving warm or cold. Enjoy!