The wet rainy weather of late had me look for a winter warmer of a dessert and this truly fits the bill. I absolutely love the background flavours of cardamom and ginger in this pie, and although the base can tend to be quite soft, the buttery light shortcake top is beyond delicious. All this needs is some whipped cream or ice cream to truly be a treat.
30g softened unsalted butter
40g soft light brown sugar
1 cardamom pod, seeds crushed (pod discarded)
1 piece of crystalized ginger finely chopped
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
4 large firm pears, peeled, cored, and cut into dice about 1½ cm square.
Finely grated zest of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. flaked almonds
1 tbsp. soft light brown sugar
Drop of milk
125gr unsalted butter
125gr caster sugar
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
175gr plain flour
50g ground almond
1 tsp. baking powder
- Place the butter, brown sugar, cardamom seeds, ginger and nutmeg in a pan over low heat.
- Cook, stirring, for one to two minutes until the butter melts and sugar dissolves. (It will need to bubble a little to dissolve sugar- watch it doesn’t catch.
- Add pear and lemon zest and juice, then cook over low heat for five to six minutes or until the pear is soft (but not mushy).
- Remove from heat add the blueberries, mix in then transfer to a clean bowl and allow to cool before chilling fully.
- For the shortcake, in the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter and caster sugar until soft.
- Add the egg and beat again until well mixed, be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.
- Sift together the flour, almond meal and baking powder, and then add to the mix then mix until combined.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to bring the mixture together.
- Divide the dough in half, then take a little extra off one for the other (for the base and sides) pat into discs, then wrap each one in cling film and chill for an hour minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 20cm spring form cake pan.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the larger dough portion and line the base and sides of the tin, - allowing an overhang, patch any broken pieces as necessary.
- Pile pear mixture and any juices over the dough, leaving a small border around the edge.
- Roll out the second piece of dough, and then lay over the top.
- Trim leaving a little excess, then press edges together to seal.
- Press the sealed section all around with the back of a spoon, or thumb, to create a little pattern.
- Brush with milk and sprinkle with almonds and brown sugar.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden (cover loosely with foil if browning too quickly).
- Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then
remove and serve warm with cream or ice cream.