Ripe pears are like buses. You wait ages for them to reach the perfect ripeness and then they all go ripe at once. Or, if you're like me, you happen across a whole swag of perfectly juicy Doyenne du Comice pears at the green grocer and you buy a whole bagful. This is what you should do with the ones you don't eat standing over the kitchen sink as the juice runs down your forearms.
Gingery Pear Loaf
This is barely adapted from a Michael Lee-Richards recipe, snipped from a North and South in 1998. It's the easiest cake in the world to make, leaves you with just one pot to wash up and doesn't require icing. Oh, and it tastes amazing hot or cold. It's probably one of my favourite cakes of all-time (and, despite appearances, I'm quite fussy).
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 large pears, peeled, cored and diced
3/4 cup crystallised ginger, chopped
Preheat the oven to 150C. Grease and line a loaf tin or a 23cm ring tin.
Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat and set aside while you get everything else ready.
Tip all the remaining ingredients into the butter and stir well. Scrape this mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden and crusty on top (and cooked in the middle - give it the skewer test to be sure).
Leave in the tin to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out to a rack to cool.
Have a sweet, sweet weekend, everyone. Don't forget to get your entry in for this month's We Should Cocoa - you have until the end of Monday, NZ time.