PEAR AND BURNT-BUTTER DREAMS

20140507-234521.jpg Or, 'the one where it becomes apparent that I've just learnt all about burnt-butter and feel the need to put it in everything'.

I mean, obviously I knew about burnt-butter before (the gnocchi and sage combination is one of the best), but of late, the idea of burning it back and cooking off all that water (water! ha! who needs water in their cake anyway!) is all I can think about - so it's just nutty brown, speckled, flavoursome oozy butter that will kick-start your sweets like nothing else. From last month's donuts, to this little dream, the burnt-butter has not let me down.

I am sorry to say that  can't tell you where I found the recipe (what a dill), but I do remember that it was taken then adapted from Heidi's Super Natural Everyday with what I had in my pantry. It's a book I've been wanting to buy for a while, and the origins of this delight might now be my official excuse. Plenty more good where that came from, methinks...

INGREDIENTS

* 1.5 cups of plain flour * 1 cup of spelt flour * 1 tablespoon of baking powder * ½ a teaspoon of ground ginger * ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon * ¼ of a teaspoon of all-spice * ½ a cup of brown sugar * ½ a teaspoon of salt * 2 eggs * 1 cup of buttermilk * ¼ of a cup of butter, melted until brown and cooled (see here for how-to) * zest of ½ a lemon * 1 medium-sized pear, grated

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180c and grease and line a tin.

In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, all-spice, sugar and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and the buttermilk, then slowly add in the melted butter, the lemon zest and the grated pear. Pour the wet mixture over the flour mixture and stir until just combined (best not to over-mix).

Bake for 40-60 minutes or until cake is golden brown and a knife comes out clean (or, in my case, a small screwdriver that you found in the second drawer and have never actually used as a screwdriver)(in my defence, it is as narrow as a tooth-pick so rather more dainty to pierce the cake with that a big old knife).

I made this a couple of weeks ago, when my family was in town. I was lucky enough to have Daisy as my wooden spoon sidekick and chief bowl-licker and we were both of us very happy with our work. I think this one will be in high-rotation over winter - so soft (the buttermilk), warming (the ginger and all-spice) and fruity (the pear). Just right with a pot of Earl Grey or Orange Pekoe, in case you have the kettle on.