Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pear and Walnut Sponge

Graziana from Erbe in Cucina/Cooking with Herbs is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I have pears.

pear© by haalo

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© by Haalo

Pear and Walnut Sponge

1 egg
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.

pear and walnut sponge© by Haalo

Dust with a little icing sugar - it can be enjoyed straight from the oven or cold.

pear and walnut sponge© by Haalo


  1. lovely; I like that you made it GF.

  2. This looks delicious. But what's the main difference from your pear and walnut cake (which is really really good!)?

  3. Very interesting. I like the sponge idea. And Gluten Free is a huge benefit for those who happen by this way! I am glad I have you linked to my site as I have many friends who need gluten free recipes.

  4. Haalo, this is gorgeous. My mom absolutely adored Packham Pear when she visited Australia last time. Now I can make this for her since she is coming again next week!

  5. Thanks MM - I love potato flour it gives cakes the most interesting mouth feel.

    Thanks Eva - they are very different, this is more like a sponge pudding - softly stewed fruit underneath a sponge topping. The cake is rich and buttery.

    Thanks Trish!

    Thanks Paz!

    Thanks Anh - hope you have a wonderful time!

  6. looks delicious - I love pear and walnut together but never had it in a sponge pudding

  7. MMMM....Haalo: this dessert looks so inviting! thanks!

    yum yum yum!

  8. Thank you for the recipe and for the hosting opportunity! See you at the recap!

  9. Hi,

    A while ago you have been nominated to Inspiring Food Photography poll and I would want also to give you Beautiful Blog
    award (replacement for IFP event):
    If you agree place link or badge linking to the B B List somewhere on your site or mention it in the post and I will place your link on the list.


  10. This looks fantastic - I will definately have to try it...particularly since it is gf too. In fact a nice big piece of that would go down just fine right now!


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