Easy French Pear Cake

Once in blue moon, a batch of pears fails to ripen properly. They are fine and white all the way to the core, but are still hard, even if you have left them in a sunny window for a week. They haven't become soft and sweet. The best and easiest way to preserve and enjoy these pears is to cook them up in a French Pear Cake. I have adapted this recipe from my 1972 copy of The Joy of Cooking by Rombauer and Becker. The original recipe says to use apples or peaches. I think pears are best here.


A deep, 8-inch pie pan, or equivalent, buttered or brushed with Canola Oil


  • Juice from 1 large Navel Orange
  • Zested Rind from 1 large Navel Orange
  • 3 cups peeled, cored and sliced Pears
  • 1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1 tsp Ground Mixed Spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves) or 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Tb Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tb Canola Oil
  • 1/4 cup Milk


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 deg F (220 deg C).
  2. Put the Orange Juice and the Orange Zest into the pie pan.
  3. Add the Pears and Dried Cranberries, and toss to coat with the Juice and Zest.
  4. Sprinkle the 1 tsp Mixed Spice and 2 Tb Brown Sugar over the fruit .
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the Flour, 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, Baking Powder and Salt.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the Eggs, Canola Oil and Milk.
  7. Pour the Egg mixture into the Flour mixture and beat together with a spatula until blended.
  8. Pour the batter over the fruit.
  9. Bake the cake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes.
  10. Serve hot or warm, with Milk or Cream to pour over the top of each serving.




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