Pear, Ricotta & Pine Nut Cake

Cook Time 1 hour

Servings 8-10


150g unsalted butter, softened

150g (⅔ cup) caster sugar

2 eggs

200g fresh full-fat ricotta

1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped, or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

250g (1⅔ cups) self-raising flour, sifted

3 pears (about 500g in total), peeled, cored and cut into 2cm pieces

3 tbsp pine nuts

Icing sugar, for dusting


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 21cm round cake tin with butter and line with baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar together, either using a wooden spoon or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Spoon in the ricotta, along with the vanilla and lemon zest. Add the flour and gently mix until the batter is smooth and the flour is well incorporated. Stir in the pear, then spoon the batter into the prepared tin. The batter will be quite stiff, so be as gentle as possible. Top with the pine nuts and bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre.

Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Lightly dust the cake with icing sugar before serving.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Cook and author of Ostro and A Year of Simple Family Food


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