This recipe is Vegetarian, Gluten free, Wheat free and Dairy free.
2 large, just-ripe pears, peeled, quartered, cored and thinly sliced into the juice of 1 lemon
200 g (7 oz) 1 cup less 2 tablespoons of Dairy free margarine
170 g (6 oz) generous 3/4 cup of caster (superfine) sugar
2 large free-range eggs
130 g (4 1/2 oz) generous 3/4 cup of rice flour
100 g (3 1/2 oz) 2/3 cup of maize flour
A pinch of salt
3 teaspoons of Gluten free baking powder
1 heaped teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
140 ml (5 fl oz) 2/3 cup of dry ginger ale
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
55 g (2 oz) 2/3 cup of ground almonds
for the topping
55 g (2 oz) 1/4 Cup of Dairy free margarine
115 g (4 oz) 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of muscovado sugar
Few drops of pure Madagascan vanilla extract
100 g (3 1/2 oz) 1 cup of flaked almonds
icing (confectioners') sugar to dust
25 cm (10 inch) loose-bottomed, spring-form, round cake tin, greased and lined with baking parchment (wax paper)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) gas 4
2. Ensure the pears are prepared before beginning the cake.
3. In a food processor, cream together the margarine and caster (superfine) sugar until pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs.
4. Sift together the flours with the salt, baking powder, ginger and nutmeg and briefly blend into the egg mixture.
5. Quickly add the ginger ale, lemon zest and ground almonds, and process for a moment only.
6. Remove the blade of the food processor and fold in half the pears in the juice.
7. Spoon half the cake mixture into the prepared tin and gently smooth over.
8. Cover the sponge with all the remaining pears and juice. Cover the pears with the remaining sponge mixture and smooth over.
9. Bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until golden and fairly firm.
10. Meanwhile, put the margarine and sugar together into a pan over medium heat and cook gently until the sugar dissolves, about 3 - 4 minutes will be enough.
11. Bring it to the boil and then add the vanilla extract and flaked almonds.
12. Remove from the heat and stir the mixture.
13. Take the cake out of the oven and spread the almond mixture over the top of the cake.
14. Return the cake to the oven for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until the topping is sticky and the sponge is firm.
15. Leave the cake in the tin to cool for at least 40 minutes, then carefully remove the cake from the tin and peel off the lining paper.
16. Place the cake on a plate and dust with sieved icing (confectioners') sugar.
17. Serve it just warm with ice-cream or yogurt.
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