Pear, Pistachio and Rose Cake

Introduction

This is a delicately perfumed confection: yes, a cake, but no ordinary cake; the fruit keeps it so tender and damp that it’s as if it’s been drenched in light, scented syrup. I’ve been bold with the amount of rosewater here but, with the pears and pistachios, it strikes only the most fluttering of floral notes. True, the amount of rose petals I strew on top makes it look as if you might just as well wear it on your head as eat it, but it’s the sort of cake that invites exuberance.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

This is a delicately perfumed confection: yes, a cake, but no ordinary cake; the fruit keeps it so tender and damp that it’s as if it’s been drenched in light, scented syrup. I’ve been bold with the amount of rosewater here but, with the pears and pistachios, it strikes only the most fluttering of floral notes. True, the amount of rose petals I strew on top makes it look as if you might just as well wear it on your head as eat it, but it’s the sort of cake that invites exuberance.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Pear, Pistachio and Rose CakePhoto by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Makes: 8-12 slices

Metric Cups

For the cake

  • vegetable oil (for greasing)
  • 200 grams caster sugar
  • 100 grams pistachios
  • 450 grams (approx. 3) pears – not too ripe (cored and cut into chunks, skin still on)
  • 200 grams ground almonds
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder (gluten-free if required)
  • 6 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1½ teaspoons rosewater

For the topping

  • 2 teaspoons apricot jam
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon rosewater

To decorate

  • chopped pistachios
  • edible rose petals

For the cake

  • vegetable oil (for greasing)
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • ¾ cup pistachios
  • 1 pound (approx. 3) pears – not too ripe (cored and cut into chunks, skin still on)
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder (gluten-free if required)
  • 6 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1½ teaspoons rosewater

For the topping

  • 2 teaspoons apricot jam
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon rosewater

To decorate

  • chopped pistachios
  • edible rose petals

Method

You will need 1 x 20cm / 9-inch springform cake tin.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F. Grease the sides and line the base of your springform cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put the sugar and 100g / ¾ cup of pistachios into a food processor and blitz until the pistachios are finely ground, with a few nubbly bits, too.
  3. Add the remaining cake ingredients and blitz until everything is smoothly combined and the pears have been pureed into the batter. Remove the blade, scrape down the mixture and use the spatula to help ease every bit of batter into the prepared tin.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes, though take a look at 35 and if the cake looks like it’s browning too fast, loosely cover with foil. When the cake’s ready, it will be brown on top, beginning to come away at the edges and a cake tester will come out with just a few damp crumbs sticking to it.
  5. Sit the cake on a wire rack and leave to cool completely in the tin; like all flourless cakes, it will sink a little. When the cake is completely cold, unclip, remove the base and transfer to a cake stand or plate.
  6. Mix the jam, lemon juice and rosewater together in a cup, then brush this glaze over the surface of the cake, removing any small blobs of apricot if there are any. Scatter with finely chopped pistachios and strew with rose petals, then sprinkle a few more pistachio crumbs on the top.

You will need 1 x 20cm / 9-inch springform cake tin.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/350°F. Grease the sides and line the base of your springform cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put the sugar and 100g / ¾ cup of pistachios into a food processor and blitz until the pistachios are finely ground, with a few nubbly bits, too.
  3. Add the remaining cake ingredients and blitz until everything is smoothly combined and the pears have been pureed into the batter. Remove the blade, scrape down the mixture and use the spatula to help ease every bit of batter into the prepared tin.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes, though take a look at 35 and if the cake looks like it’s browning too fast, loosely cover with foil. When the cake’s ready, it will be brown on top, beginning to come away at the edges and a cake tester will come out with just a few damp crumbs sticking to it.
  5. Sit the cake on a wire rack and leave to cool completely in the tin; like all flourless cakes, it will sink a little. When the cake is completely cold, unclip, remove the base and transfer to a cake stand or plate.
  6. Mix the jam, lemon juice and rosewater together in a cup, then brush this glaze over the surface of the cake, removing any small blobs of apricot if there are any. Scatter with finely chopped pistachios and strew with rose petals, then sprinkle a few more pistachio crumbs on the top.

Content retrieved from: https://www.nigella.com/recipes/pear-pistachio-and-rose-cake.

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