Gingerbread Pears

Perfect as a laid-back yet elegant one-tin dessert, this easy gingerbread recipe packs in plenty of spice to compliment the tender roasted pears.

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I love ginger, so this recipe incorporates three kinds: ground, fresh and stem. Despite that, it’s a very light gingerbread, which works perfectly with the sunbathing penguin-style baked pears. Serve cold for an afternoon snack, or warm to finish off an autumnal dinner with thick double cream or crème fraîche.

Serves 8


60g unsalted butter, plus more for the tin
125g dark brown sugar, plus a few extra pinches
2½ cm fresh ginger, grated
1 free-range egg
100ml milk
115g self-raising flour
1 tsp ground ginger
3 cardamom pods, seeds ground, pods discarded
½ tsp baking powder
4 slim pears, halved
1 ball of stem ginger in syrup, roughly chopped

Essential kit

You will need: a 28 x 22cm roasting or baking tin.


Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 25–30 minutes

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/gas 4 and line and butter a 28 x 22cm roasting or baking tin with non-stick or greaseproof paper.

Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth, then whisk in the fresh ginger, egg and milk. Stir in the flour, ground ginger, ground cardamom and baking powder and mix briefly until combined.

Tip the gingerbread batter into the lined tin, then arrange the halved pears across the cake as shown opposite. Scatter a pinch of dark brown sugar and a few bits of chopped stem ginger over each pear, then transfer to the oven and bake for 25–30 minutes, until the cake is risen and firm to the touch.

Let the cake cool down in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring it, with its paper, to a wire rack to cool a little. Serve the gingerbread warm or at room temperature.

Note: As it has fresh fruit in it, you'll have to store any leftover gingerbread in the fridge. Warm slices through briefly in the oven or microwave before serving. 

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