Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Pear and Almond Pudding Cake

I trust you have all had merry Christmases, if indeed you do celebrate it. We are just returned home from two nights at the boyfriend’s parents’ place where we pretty much did nothing bar sit around and eat and drink. Having said that this Christmas has been extremely moderate on the food and drink front, and with only 5 or so Eating Days left until Diet Hell New Year I must work hard to rectify that in the short amount of time left.

I am, rather fancy-pants-ily, typing this on my iPad via a weird wireless connecty keyboardy thing the boyfriend got me which is great and very tech but means I can no longer blame any typos on the autocorrect. Awkward. But I did well on the present front despite being arguably undeserving of much beyond a household costs bill of sorts for having only worked two months out of the last six. The favourite is still to come – a lampshade featuring two blue budgies. Can’t wait. I’m putting it over a silver pineapple lamp base because that’s what the website picture of it had and I’m suggestible, and because I like pineapple, especially on pizza. I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THAT.

We didn’t buy NewHuman a single present for Xmas but were somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of stuff he was given by other people. Have hidden much of it around the house now, either for him to discover or for me to find some years hence, possibly when we move, and go ‘ah shit’ as I’ve done with much of the clothing he’s been gifted. Can’t keep track. The role of wardrobe to his clothing collection is currently played by our dining room table as I can’t be bothered to climb stairs several times to a day when I can just as well change a shitty nappy here downstairs and eat supper on my lap instead of at the table. New chairs and table are en route, however, so the days of the shitty nappy dining table wardrobe are numbered. Sad.

The blog is now just over two years old and there are an untold number of posts hovering about the 200 or so and thus I can’t be bothered to go back and see whether I’ve blogged this particular cake or not. I don’t think I have, hence its appearance today. I’ve been cooking it for several years; it’s hard to get wrong, tastes bloody delicious, and is very simple whilst yet involving heat and sugar, thereby involving a potential for danger and making the whole thing worth admiring.

I’ve never tried this with other fruit but I can see no reason why it’d not be delicious with something like peaches.



About 3 pears – peeled, cored and quartered – you never end up using them all and, if me, eat them straight from the pan in the leftover butter-sugar juice. It’s fruit, so you will be basically doing yourself a favour here.
150g unsalted butter (as usual I used salted)
125g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
75g wholemeal self raising flour (I used normal)
75g ground almonds
Generous pinch of cinnamon (I couldn’t find mine, spice cupboard currently like armageddon, so used mixed spice instead. Was fine)

For the pears:-

25g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon granulated sugar (I used the caster, it was already out of the cupboard. Seemed sensible).


Pears, prepared.


Preheat your oven to about 170C or Gas Mark 3. Line the bottom of a well-greased round cake tin, either springform or loose bottomed (ooer, etc) if you can. Something in the region of 20cm diameter would be good.

In a frying pan melt the 25g butter, add the sugar and when bubbling add your pears when it looks like the sugar has dissolved and the butter is bubbling – you can stir it through gently whilst this happens, before the pears go in. Turn them a few times till they start to take on some colour, which should take 5-10 mins or so. Take off the heat and set aside. It’s batter time.


In a mixing bowl, with beaters or in your mixer, beat the sugar and butter together till it’s as light and fluffy as the Xmas TV schedule. Beat in one egg at a time with a spoonful of flour. Then by hand mix through the remaining flour, the ground almonds and cinnamon/spice till combined.


Spoon the mix into your cake tin and smooth out, then lay on the pears. You know, tidily as you can be bothered to manage. It won’t really matter too much in the end as for the most part they’ll sink into the cake a bit as they cook but if you care about yourself/the world/peace on earth/whichever, you’ll care about doing this bit well.

Pour over the remaining buttery-sugar juice from the frypan.

Into the oven to cook – should take about 40mins or so but just wait till a skewer comes out clean.


Dog, full of the festive spirit. It’s unfair to expect her to be enthusiastic about Xmas when she is never enthusiastic about anything else bar food and a run.


NewHuman also full of the festive spirit.

(I should admit that he’s gifted us, in this season of giving, sleeping through the night so it’s a bit unfair to represent him as a screaming little shit).

Finished cake below. Eat with clotted cream, is very nice for breakfast.



6 thoughts on “Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Pear and Almond Pudding Cake

  1. narf77 says:

    EWWW!!! Pineapple on pizza? I must be one of the ONLY Aussies not to love that combination. My sister and brother all ladle it onto all kinds of savoury combinations but this little black duck is sans pineapple at all times. Please share a photo of that lamp with us all…I love a good laugh. Blue budgies are naturally attracted to pineapples here in Australia. Just thought that your other readers should be aware of that fact that is completely obvious to us Aussies but might lose something in the translation. I once had a lovebird that ate a string of very big; very red, VERY HOT chilli’s that I was saving for best so blue budgies are pretty lightweight with their pineapple addiction

    You had me ah “Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall” to be honest. I love the man…I would walk on my knees under Bass Strait (snorkel anyone?) to go to see him if he ever bothered to turn up to Australia for anything other than a lightning visit to sell our pathetic Aussie version of River Cottage (which SUCKED thankyou very much!) to connect with his adoring fan base…the man is a truly sustainable icon and we, the penniless student hippies of the world, adore him. I, personally, adore the bourgeois Nigel Slater as well but that, my dear, is another story!

    Love the look of this cake and will be tucking it away for best. Cheers for sharing the cake. Kudos on not dosing New Human up with presents before he is able to appreciate them. At his age, a sheet of used wrapping paper is the most interesting and delicious treat that you could have given him. I can’t get my head around relatives that think that they have to give you an entire set of the Oxford Encyclopaedia’s for a baby…”Yeah mum… I read him one a day all last week” WTF?!!! ;). At least someone out there will be most grateful for New Human’s cast off clothes when they make it to the thrift shop ;). You had best get stuck into that cake now before New Year’s…it is almost here! We will be scrubbing and Karchering the deck and handrails as we are painting the house…sigh…

  2. narf77 says:

    Oh, by the way, you forgot a step in this recipe…you forgot “surreptitiously lick the buttery-sugary frypan once it gets cool enough to salivate over…just sayin…

  3. Jim Miyamoto says:

    Hi, I think this might be the first time I’ve left a comment, but I just wanted you to know that I nominated you for a Liebster Award ( because I really enjoy your blog. Hope you have a happy new year!

    • b-kom says:

      That is very kind of you – thank you! I will prob not pass it on as I’m a TERRIBLE PERSON and don’t read enough other blogs. Although maybe there is one person I might pass it on to….*thinks*

      Thanks again!

  4. Barbara Fox says:

    Discovered your blog while looking for a pear recipe – thanks to large supply from neighbour’s tree. So delicious we have now got a few in the freezer ready for the onslaught of visitors next month. A great read too! Will be back. Regards to all members of the family.

    • b-kom says:

      Oh thank you!! Apologies for such a neglected blog recently … but there are lots and lots of lovely recipes to try so keep reading!

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