Josephine pears can be recognised by their shape - they carry a distinctly plump and rounded bottom. They are a great eating pear as they have a pronounced sweet pear flavour - I'm actually quite surprised to find that this is the first time I've used them for a recipe on the blog.
Pears and almonds work really well together and the almond in this recipe comes from the use of Amaretto Liqueur. I've modified an apple cake I've previously made and I'm quite pleased with the end result.
4 josephine pears (choose pears that are just slightly under-ripe)
2 teaspoons caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
120 grams caster sugar
150 grams butter, melted and cooled
150 grams self raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup milk
Prepare the pears:
Peel, quarter and core the pears - slice and place into a bowl. Sprinkle over the sugar and a small glass of Amaretto. Toss and cover with plastic wrap.
Make the batter:
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy. Sift the flour and baking powder together and add to the yolks, beat briefly until the flour has been absorbed. Pour in the butter and milk and give it a quick stir before folding through the sliced pears (and their liquid).
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and then lightly fold them into the batter.
Pour this out into a greased and lined 22cm cake tin (I used a spring-form tin) - smooth out the surface with a palette knife. Bake in a preheated 160°C oven until golden and cooked through - about 45 minutes.
Cool slightly in the tin before un-moulding. Enjoy it warm or cold but remember to finish it off with a good dusting of icing sugar.