Sticky pear, nut and ginger loaf

This sticky pear, nut and ginger loaf recipe is a real autumn treat, perfect with a cup of tea for elevenses or in the afternoon by a roaring fire.

Ingredients

  • 165g unsalted butter
  • 115g dark brown sugar
  • 3 pears (approx. 200g) peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 tbsp ginger preserve or syrup (from a jar of stem ginger)
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 200ml milk
  • 250g spelt flour
  • 11⁄2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 75g mixed nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds)
  • 3 pieces stem ginger, chopped small
  • 2 tbsp ginger preserve or syrup
  • Handful of mixed nuts, roasted
  • Mascarpone (optional)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a two-litre loaf tin. Heat a tsp of the butter in a pan over a medium heat. When it starts to foam, sprinkle in a tsp of the dark brown sugar and stir in the pear chunks. Add in the ginger preserve and let it cook for 2-3 minutes until caramelised, stirring to make sure the pears are covered evenly but still retain their shape. Leave to cool while you prepare the rest of the loaf.

2. Melt the rest of the butter and sugar, as well as the honey in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Once the mixture has melted, add the milk, stir and leave to cool.

3. Sift the flour into a bowl with the baking powder and dry spices. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk mixture. Using a wooden spoon fold the flour in and stir to form a smooth batter. Then add in the eggs, nuts, stem ginger and caramelised pears – carefully mixing it all together.

4. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for around one hour or until a skewer in the middle comes out clean.

5. Once it’s out of the oven, drizzle over two tbsp of ginger preserve or syrup and sprinkle over the chopped nuts. Cool for five minutes in the tin, then remove to a wire rack. Serve warm or cold, with mascarpone if you like.