Pear & Tea Loaf
Just as a book should never be judged by its cover, I beg you to please not judge this cake by its humble appearance. The flavours of the pear and tea work wonderfully together, rounded off to perfection with a hint of warm ginger. Those tarty pastries flaunting themselves in the windows of French patisseries may be more seductive but they would kill to taste even half as good as this.
150g dried pears
125ml strong black tea
125g unsalted butter
125g soft dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
150g self-raising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
The evening before you want to make this, chop the dried pears up into little pieces and put them in the tea to soak overnight.
When you are ready to bake your loaf, oil a 1lb loaf tin and pre-heat the oven on to 180℃ (160℃ fan).
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and ginger. Put to one side.
In a food mixer with paddle attachment, or with an electric whisk, cream together the butter and sugar. When they are light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time until thoroughly combined.
Add the flour mixture and the pears, along with their tea juice, to the butter mixture. Fold in until combined.
Spoon into the loaf tin and cook for about 45 minutes.
If the loaf looks as if it is in danger of becoming too dark, cover it loosely with foil for the last ten minutes of the cooking time.
Upon removing your loaf from the oven, leave it for few minutes in its tin before tipping it out onto a wire rack to cool.