Pear Polenta Cake

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Things have been a little on the healthy side around here lately so I thought it was about time I made a cake.  My husband took the cake in to work after we’d had a couple of slices and it was gone before he even got down for tea break.  That’s how good it is... but then he did say that teachers will eat anything.  The pears are sweet and lend moisture to the cake while the slight tartness of the blueberries tempers this and stops the cake being too sweet.  I reduced the sugar considerably from the original recipe and still found the cake was plenty sweet enough.  I used frozen blueberries which seemed to sink in to the middle.  I’m sure fresh blueberries would stay neatly in place.

Recipe adapted from Seriously Good Gluten Free Baking by Phil Vickery.
Olive oil for oiling
3 ripe pears
Grated zest of ½ a lemon
175g (6oz) unsalted butter
150g (5oz) golden caster sugar (the original recipe says 225g but I reduced this, it seemed like a lot to a health freak like me).
3 medium eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
250g (9oz) polenta (make sure it’s gluten free)
100g (4oz) blueberries (I used frozen)
Preheat oven gas mark 4 (180°C 350°F). Oil or line a 22cm square baking tin with parchment.
Peel the pears and slice in to chunks.  Place the unsalted butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream together.  Add the eggs, the lemon zest, the vanilla extract, baking powder and polenta and mix until well combined.  Fold in the pears.  Spoon the mixture in to the baking tin and smooth.  Press the blueberries in a single layer on top.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted in to the middle comes out clean.  My cake actually took nearly an hour but I do have a very rubbish oven.
The cake keeps for two days in an air tight container.

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