Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spiced pear, blueberry and almond shortcake

Spiced pear, blueberry and almond shortcake
Spiced pear, blueberry and almond shortcake

Serves 6-8
Spiced pear, blueberry and almond shortcake ingredients: 30g softened unsalted butter. 40g brown sugar. 1 cardamom pod, seeds crushed (pod discarded). 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg. 4 beurre bosc pears, peeled, cored, chopped. Finely grated zest and juice. of 1 lemon. 100g blueberries. Milk, to brush. 2 tbs flaked almonds. 1 tbs demerara sugar. Thickened cream, to serve

Shortcake pastry: 125 unsalted butter. 125g caster sugar. 1 egg, lighly beaten. 1 and 1/4 cups (175g) plain flour. 50g almond meal. 1 tsp baking powder

Spiced pear, blueberry and almond shortcake recipe: Place the butter, brown sugar, cardamom seeds and nutmeg in a pan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until the butter melts and sugar dissolves. Add pear and lemon zest and juice, then cook over low heat for 8 minutes or until the pear is soft (but not mushy). Remove from heat and stir through blueberries, then set aside to cool to room temperature. For the shortcake, beat the butter and caster sugar until thick and pale. Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour, almond meal and baking powder, then stir until combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to bring the mixture together. Divide the dough in half, pat into discs, then enclose in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 24cm spring form cake pan. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough portion into a 23cm round, then press one round into pan. Pile pear mixture and any juice over the dough, leaving a small border around the edge. Top with the remaining dough round and press edges together to seal. Brush with milk and sprinkle with almond and demerara sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden (cover loosely with foil if bowing too quickly). Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove and serve warm with cream. By then, the spiced pear, blueberry and almond shortcake is ready