Honey was harvested from our strongest hive last August, it was the first honey we had taken from our bees, and opening a jar now is like delving straight back into Summer.
With Christmas indulgence still a recent memory, albeit a haze of clinking glasses, mince pies, and roast potatoes, it’s hard to fathom more sweet treats. However, January is a hard enough slog as it is to get through, so treats feel important. Here’s a light and airy cake, with a load of pear, and honey goodness to make it sweet enough. There’s no dairy, no gluten, and no refined sugar (and also no booze to boot)- just in case you are avoiding those things this January.
- 3 pears
- 4 eggs, separated
- 60g ground almonds
- 130g self raising flour*
- 2 tbsp of honey
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Flaked almonds
- Two tbsp of icing sugar (optional)
- Runny honey
Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Lightly grease a cake tin. Peel, core, and quarter the pears and place in a pan with a little water, approximately 3 tablespoons, and place on a gentle heat. Separate the eggs. Whisk the egg whites until they’ve doubled in mass, and reach soft peak stage (when they make little soft white peaks when you life the whisk up). Add the honey and almond extract and fold in to incorporate, being careful not to knock too much air out of the egg white. The pears should be a little softer by this point. Take them off the heat, drain the water and mash them roughly, so there are still lumps. Add the egg yolks, ground almonds and self-raising flour to the pear mixture. Take a spoonful of the egg white mixture and fold it into the pear mixture to loosen it. Then fold the pear mixture into the rest of the egg whites, keeping as much of the air as possible. Spoon into your cake tin and pop in the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden on top and baked through.
Release gently from the tin and place on a cooling rack. Coke a few small holes in the top of the cake and pour a good few table spoons of runny honey on top to soak into the sponge. Once cool, sieve a little icing sugar on top, and scatter the flakes almonds.
* I use Doves Farm Gluten-Free Self-Raising flour in this recipe.