Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pear and Walnut Sponge

Graziana from Erbe in Cucina/Cooking with Herbs is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I have pears.

pear© by haalo

This is a Packham Pear which was developed here in Australia in 1896 by Charles Packham. It's a cross between William and Bell Pears which produces these largish, bumpy, green-skinned pears. As they ripen the skin turns to yellow.

While I've made many crumbles with pears and other fruits, for this recipe I've taken a different approach. Instead of crumble I'm topping the fruit with a sponge batter. The sponge itself is slightly different in that potato flour is used - which makes it gluten free.

pear and walnut sponge© by Haalo

Pear and Walnut Sponge

1 egg
30 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
40 grams potato flour
2 pears, peeled, cored and quartered, cut into pieces
40 grams walnuts, sliced
pearl sugar, optional
icing sugar, to dust, optional

Prepare the filling:
Toss the pear pieces and walnuts together and then tumble out onto a baking dish.

Make the sponge:
Place the egg, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and whisk until thick and creamy. Double sift the potato flour and then sift once more onto the creamed eggs. Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold the flour into the mix, using a figure eight motion.

When just mixed through, spoon this evenly over the fruit - level the mixture and then sprinkle over with the pearl sugar.

Place the dish into a preheated 160ºC/320ºF oven and bake until puffed and golden - about 20 to 30 minutes.

pear and walnut sponge© by Haalo

Dust with a little icing sugar - it can be enjoyed straight from the oven or cold.

pear and walnut sponge© by Haalo


  1. lovely; I like that you made it GF.

  2. This looks delicious. But what's the main difference from your pear and walnut cake (which is really really good!)?

  3. Very interesting. I like the sponge idea. And Gluten Free is a huge benefit for those who happen by this way! I am glad I have you linked to my site as I have many friends who need gluten free recipes.

  4. AnonymousJune 22, 2009



  5. Haalo, this is gorgeous. My mom absolutely adored Packham Pear when she visited Australia last time. Now I can make this for her since she is coming again next week!

  6. Thanks MM - I love potato flour it gives cakes the most interesting mouth feel.

    Thanks Eva - they are very different, this is more like a sponge pudding - softly stewed fruit underneath a sponge topping. The cake is rich and buttery.

    Thanks Trish!

    Thanks Paz!

    Thanks Anh - hope you have a wonderful time!

  7. looks delicious - I love pear and walnut together but never had it in a sponge pudding

  8. MMMM....Haalo: this dessert looks so inviting! thanks!

    yum yum yum!

  9. Thank you for the recipe and for the hosting opportunity! See you at the recap!

  10. AnonymousJune 29, 2009

    This looks fantastic - I will definately have to try it...particularly since it is gf too. In fact a nice big piece of that would go down just fine right now!


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