This is a Packham Pear which was developed here in Australia in 1896 by Charles Packham. It's a cross between William and Bell Pears which produces these largish, bumpy, green-skinned pears. As they ripen the skin turns to yellow.
While I've made many crumbles with pears and other fruits, for this recipe I've taken a different approach. Instead of crumble I'm topping the fruit with a sponge batter. The sponge itself is slightly different in that potato flour is used - which makes it gluten free.
Pear and Walnut Sponge
30 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
40 grams potato flour
2 pears, peeled, cored and quartered, cut into pieces
40 grams walnuts, sliced
pearl sugar, optional
icing sugar, to dust, optional
Prepare the filling:
Toss the pear pieces and walnuts together and then tumble out onto a baking dish.
Make the sponge:
Place the egg, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and whisk until thick and creamy. Double sift the potato flour and then sift once more onto the creamed eggs. Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold the flour into the mix, using a figure eight motion.
When just mixed through, spoon this evenly over the fruit - level the mixture and then sprinkle over with the pearl sugar.
Place the dish into a preheated 160ºC/320ºF oven and bake until puffed and golden - about 20 to 30 minutes.
Dust with a little icing sugar - it can be enjoyed straight from the oven or cold.