Recipe: Blackberry & Pear Traybake

Blackberry pear traybake 2

The window of pear perfection when the fruit is at its peak of juicy ripeness and fullest flavour is fleeting.   A perfectly ripe pear is one of the pleasures of the English summer, best eaten outside with its soft delicious flesh dripping with juice.  It seems that the pear turns from an unripe solid and sour to a woolly browning mush, flecked with gritty stone cells in a matter of hours, which necessitates eating them the second you find they are fully ripe.

The grass in the orchard was scattered with windfalls; casualties of the breeze and still rock hard.   These fruit do not always ripen, they quickly go brown where they bruised on their descent from the tree.    I’d also gathered a few blackberries from the hedge, which although ripe, were lacking the sweetness that a few more weeks of late summer sun would have brought.

Bowl of windfall pears
These unyielding unripe windfalls are fantastic for cooking, baking softens them and they still have some shape and texture, whereas a riper fruit would turn to mush, cooking also sweetened my blackberries, which coupled with the pears as well as the more traditional apple.

There is something rather satisfying about cooking with foraged and gathered foods, this traybake is perfect for tea after harvesting your orchard, serve with whipped cream to make it more special.

Recipe: Blackberry & Pear Traybake

Makes 16 squares

Ingredients

110g butter or baking margarine – softened
125g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
190g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch mixed spice
2 tbs milk
1 unripe pear – peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Handful blackberries
1 tbs demerara sugar

Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin with silicone paper.   Preheat the oven to GM4 / 180C (10C less for fan).

Using an electric mixer mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.   Beat in the eggs and vanilla with a tsp of flour to prevent the mixture from curdling.

Gently mix in the flour, baking powder and mixed spice, adding milk to loosen the mixture so it can be dolloped from a spoon and easily spread.

Spread 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared tin, arrange the pear slices on top and scatter the blackberries over, gently pressing into the cake batter in the gaps between the pear slices.

Cover the fruit with the remains of the cake batter.

Sprinkle the demerara sugar over and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until risen and golden brown, and when a cocktail stick poked into the cake comes out clean.

Delicious served warm with whipped cream.

Blackberry pear traybake

As this contains free foraged foods I am sending to Credit Crunch Munch which I run with Camilla and which is hosted by Elizabeth this month.

Credit Crunch Munch

Calendar Cakes with a theme of Summer Lovin’

Calendar Cakes Logo

And Anneli and Louisa’s Four Seasons Food where the theme is summer.

fsf-summer

Visit the Fuss Free Flavours Giveaways Page for a chance to win some amazing prizes!
About Helen

Helen Best-Shaw is a freelance food & writer, photographer who has been writing about achievable, affordable and mostly healthy food on Fuss Free Flavours since 2007. She also contributes articles, recipes and photos to a number of online and print food magazines. Please do contact me if you would like to discuss commissioning work.

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Comments

  1. What a great way to use up your pears like that. Very satisfying, I know what you mean! This tray bake looks delicious and I bet is just lovely with a cuppa. The pinch of mixed spice in there must be lovely. Thanks for entering this into Four Seasons Food x

  2. I love this time of year – when there’s so much good fruit about. Pear is one of my favourites to bake with and your cake looks divine

  3. This looks delicious, thanks for posting! Do you think it matter what sort of pears are used? I think our tree has conference pears but they never ripen properly and there’s only 6 this year anyway.

  4. Looks scrumptious! So easy to make too. Thanks for another lovely recipe.

  5. This looks lovely, we have lots of blackberries around so I will try it. Finding ripe pears is always another matter.. !

  6. Oh, that looks good. I’ve used up all my fruit for jam, will have to go hunting for more!

  7. This looks absolutely superb! I am slightly envious that you have a pear orchard and blackberries in your hedge though! :) Thanks for sharing your delicious recipe with Credit Crunch Munch

  8. Ohhhhhh! I’m liking the sound and look of this one Helen.

Trackbacks

  1. […] fate of the blackberries. Since our tiny pear tree is currently overloaded with pears, I settled on Fuss Free Flavours’ blackberry and pear traybake. It was so tasty that my mum and I ate half of it between us whilst watching Bake Off this […]

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