Baking a Pear, Pistachio and Maple Loaf Cake

Welcome back to week 8 of my loaf cake challenge. Two months in and I still have so many wonderful recipes I am planning to create, I can’t wait to share them with you. This week I have baked a Pear, Pistachio and Maple loaf cake. Inspiration for these ingredients struck me last week when I stumbled across a pear tree in our garden. I cannot wait to have my own garden one day, I love the thought of growing lots of different fruits and vegetables. You know exactly where they have come from, It’s cost-effective and incredibly organic. For my loaf cake this week I knew it had to be based around my freshly picked pears.

The second ingredient of pistachio, I have been itching to use in a loaf for a while now, so when this loaf came to head I couldn’t wait to pair it up! Sorry, couldn’t resist using that pun. I also thought the flavour of maple would compliment the cake so decided to incorporate this into the loaf too. The cake itself is relatively heavy, so it’s absolutely perfect for autumn. I always find the colder we are the hungrier we can become. Before baking this cake, I went for a lovely walk just around the corner from my home in The New Forest. It was chilly but bright and beautiful. I decided to gather some small parts of nature I noticed on the walk and incorporate them into my photographs of the cake. This week I googled my idea to find a great recipe to base my ideas on. It can often be helpful to gauge other people’s approaches. However I did make a few tweaks and changes. This is a gloriously majestic cake, perfect for autumn. The gorgeous purple and green colours of the pistachios make this cake look really special. The texture comes through with the fruity bite to the pear, the creamy flavour of pistachios and the mellow sweet hit of the maple.

Ingredients

For the Pear & Pistachio Cake:

  • 250 g plain flour 
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  •  ½ tsp. nutmeg 
  • ½ tsp. allspice 
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  •  ½ tsp. baking soda 
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • 60 g melted unsalted butter, cooled to room temperature 
  • 1 egg 
  • 175 golden caster sugar 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 120 ml whole milk
  •  60 ml double cream 
  • 2 medium pears, peeled cored and diced 
  • 75 g shelled pistachios, chopped (plus a little extra for topping) 

For the Maple Cream Cheese Drizzle:

  • 120 g mascapone cheese 
  • 60 ml maple syrup 
  • 2 Tbsp. room temperature unsalted butter

Method 

  •  Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 4.. Line a loaf pan with grease proof paper. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients other than the sugar. 
  • In a large bowl, beat together the cooled melted butter, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract. 
  • Add half of the dry mixture into the wet mixture and whisk to combine. Stir in the whole milk and heavy cream, then add the rest of the dry mixture and whisk well. Fold in the pears and pistachios. 
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake around an hour or until a knife comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack, then use the parchment paper to lift the loaf out of the pan to cool directly on the rack until completely cool. 
  • Combine the mascarpone, maple syrup and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment until combined, for about 2 minutes.
  •  Once the loaf has cooled, use a piping bag to drizzle the icing over the cake. Then decorate the top with some finely chopped shelled pistachio.

Please stay tuned for next week where I will be sharing with you my Coffee, walnut and cardamon loaf cake.

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