Maggie Beer’s Dried Pear Cake


180g Dried Pears

180ml 3/4 cup Verjuice

1/4 cup water

1 cup caster sugar

4 separated

80ml 4 tbspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil

65g 1/2 cup spelt flour & 1/2 cup plain flour

3/4 tspn baking powder

Verjuice Syrup

580ml Verjuice

250g caster sugar

1 cinnamon stick

3 fresh bay leaves

10g fresh ginger peeled & thinly sliced

40ml 2 tbspn Verjuice additional


Reconstitute pears in ¾ cup of Verjuice and ¼ cup water overnight, or in the microwave in a covered bowl for 4 minutes on the defrost cycle.

Preheat oven to 180C. Line the base and sides of a 20 centimetre solid based cake tin, with greaseproof paper. Ensure the collar of the grease proof paper is 3-4 centimetres higher than sides of the tin.

For Verjuice syrup, place 500 millitres Verjuice, sugar, cinnamon and bay leaves in a large shallow saucepan approximately 28 centimetre in diameter. Bring to a rapid boil over a high heat. Boil for 6–8 minutes or until it begins to form brown caramel colour, remove cinnamon stick and discard, add the ginger. Continue cooking for 2–3 minutes over a high heat until deep golden brown but not burnt.

Remove from heat and stir in additional 1/3 cup of Verjuice.

Immediately pour into the cake pan to prevent further cooking. Arrange bay leaves and ginger and place pear on top of syrup.

For cake batter, in a mixing bowl beat half the sugar with egg yolks until thick and pale. With the mixer running slowly pour in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Verjuice into the egg yolk mixture, whisk for 30 seconds to combine.

Sift in the flour and baking powder and beat for 1 minute or until batter is smooth. Pour into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Place egg whites into a clean mixing bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Continue to whisk, gradually adding remaining sugar. Continue to whisk until sugar has dissolved.

Gently fold in the meringue 1/3 at a time into the batter mixture using a metal spoon.

Pour mixture into a prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for 45 minutes to an hour. Before turning out pull out or cut off baking paper collar so it is level with the cake.

Turn out on plate and remove baking paper base.