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Tag Archives: sugar syrup

Pear and Almond Cake

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This is just another version of my frangipane cake* – a cake made with a frangipane base of butter, sugar, eggs and ground almonds. I love this cake and make it often – it’s a food processor cake and very simple.

I used pears as the fruit flavour. At the end of winter in Sydney pears are juicy and plentiful and create a really moist cake.

Ingredients
2 pears
150g butter
150g sugar
3 free range eggs
I teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
1 teaspoon almond essence
100g – 125g ground almonds
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
A handful of flaked almonds to scatter on top of the cake

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Method
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C, 160 degrees C fan forced.

Peel the pears and poach whole in a sugar syrup in a saucepan until they are just soft. The sugar syrup is enough water to cover the pears with 1/2 cup sugar.

Remove the pears from the syrup and cool. Discard the syrup or you could reduce and use as a sauce for the pears.

Combine butter and sugar in a food processor, with vanilla extract or paste and almond essence. Add eggs one at a time. Mix well. Fold in ground almonds, plain flour, baking powder and salt.

Put mixture into a greased flan dish, or cake tin lined with baking paper.

Cut the pears into neat slices and place on top of the mixture. Scatter the flaked almonds on top.

Bake for 45 minutes  – 1 hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the cake.

Cool in the tin. You could serve direct from the flan dish if using, or turn out out carefully from the cake tin as I did.

*See also my Apricot Almond Cake, Frangipane Tart and  Cherry Frangipane Tart

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Preserved Cumquats: Cumquats in Sugar Syrup

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I have had a bumper crop of cumquats this winter from one little tree – best ever! So I have had to be inventive with ways to use all the wonderful fruit – hence there a few cumquat recipes recently posted on this blog.

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I made a few jars of cumquat marmalade early in the season, and then the tree delivered a second fruiting. I rather fancied having some candied cumquats at hand, and began to consult my preserving books for recipes. True candied cumquats seem to be whole fruit that has been cooked in a sugar syrup several times over a number of days. A rather lengthy process.

However I found a couple of recipes that simply involve cooking the cut fruit once in a sugar syrup, letting the fruit soak in the syrup for a couple of hours, then draining the fruit and reducing the liquid to a sticky preserving consistency. Much simpler, but Cumquats in Sugar Syrup is a better description than Candied Cumquats for this method.

Ingredients
1 kg cumquats
3 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 vanilla bean (optional)

Method
Cut the cumquats in half, leaving very small fruit whole.
Place sugar and water in a large saucepan and dissolve sugar over a medium heat. Bring the syrup to a boil, and place cut cumquats in the saucepan.
For a vanilla infused syrup, add the vanilla bean, cut in half longways, scraping the seeds into the syrup. Simmer the fruit until it is tender, about 20 minutes.
The fruit will have softened but will still have some resistance when cut with a knife.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave the fruit to cool in the syrup for at least 2 hours.

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Strain the fruit from the syrup into a bowl, and return the syrup to the saucepan. Boil gently for 5-10 minutes until the liquid has reduced slightly and is thick and “syrupy”!
Place the fruit in sterilised jars, including part of the vanilla pod for extra flavour. Pour the hot syrup over the fruit. Seal the jars and store with your other preserves, then once opened, store in the refrigerator.
The fruit is both sweet and slightly bitter and can be used as a dessert over ice-cream, or with cream, or in steamed puddings, or baked into tarts and cakes. eg Blueberry and Cumquat Cake with Sugared Pecans:
https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/07/14/blueberry-and-cumquat-cake-with-sugared-pecans/
The cumquats are also great as a sweet/ sour relish with ham, chicken or even fish.

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