Recipe: Pear and Ginger Shortcake
Spiced pears and ginger are sandwiched between two layers of buttery shortcake in this delectable treat.
Recipe and photo: Elien Lewis
I recommend using beurre bosc pears — they are a firmer variety and keep their shape when cooked.
Serves 6 to 8
For the shortcake:
140g cold unsalted butter, diced
2 cups plain flour
²/³ cup white sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
For the filling:
3 large pears, cored and cut into 3mm slices
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornflour
3 tablespoons milk or 1 egg, for brushing
1 tablespoon sugar
Heat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 27cm rectangular slice tin or a 25cm square tin.Using a food processor, a pastry cutter or your fingertips, combine the butter, sugar, salt, flour and baking powder until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add the egg and as much of the milk as you need to form a thick dough that clumps together. Turn the dough into a clean bowl. Cover with a plate and chill while you prepare the pears.
Mix the pears, ginger, sugar, salt, spices, lemon juice and cornflour. Set aside. Roll out or press two-thirds of the dough into the prepared tin. Cover evenly with the pears. Roll out the remaining dough and cut into strips to form a lattice topping. Alternatively, break off chunks of dough and press it onto the pears. Brush the top with milk or lightly beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the shortcake is golden brown and the pears are soft. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with cream or yoghurt.
This is an extract from our new special edition, Sustainability Through the Seasons. This special edition practical guide to living a greener and more environmentally friendly life 365 days of the year. It is packed with self-sufficiency tips on seasonal gardening, low-waste living, garden-to-table cooking, sewing and mending, bread-making and crochet and knitting.