Curtis Stone's pear and honey cake with orange syrup
- Juice of 3 large oranges
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1/4 cup Coles white sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp Coles pure Australian honey
- 1 tbsp plus 170g (3/4 cup) Coles unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 green pears (Preferably Williams or Packham), peeled, cored and cut into quarters lengthwise
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 3/4 cup Coles white plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup Coles white sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 4 large Coles free range eggs
- Coles icing sugar, for dusting
To make the orange syrup: Combine the orange juice, orange zest, sugar,
and vanilla in a small saucepan over low-medium heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until mixture has reduced to a light syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool. Discard vanilla bean once cool.
To make the cake: Stir the lemon juice, honey, and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly.
Add the pears and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they soften slightly and the juices thicken. Transfer the pears to a baking sheet and cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Spray a 23cm diameter springform cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with baking paper.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl to blend and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining butter, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition before adding the next. Add the flour mixture and mix just until blended and transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.
Arrange the pears in a single layer atop the cake. The pears will sink as the cake bakes, so it is not important that they be arranged decoratively on top of the cake.
Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 150°C and continue baking for a further 45 minutes to an hour or until a small metal skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake and the cake is golden brown on top and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Transfer the cake pan to a rack and cool for 30 minutes.
Run a small sharp knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake from the pan.
Remove the sides of the springform pan from the cake and run a long thin knife or palette knife along the bottom of the cake to remove from the pan bottom. Transfer the warm cake to a platter and dust with the icing sugar.
Cut the cake into slices and transfer to serving plates. Drizzle the orange syrup over each slice of warm cake and serve.
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