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Pear Almond Cake with Creme Anglaise

Pear Almond Cake with Creme Anglaise. A wonderfully moist and nutty flavoured cake with sweet pears baked right in and served with warm Creme Anglaise custard. A superb Autumn comfort food dessert.

Pear Almond Cake

Pear Almond Cake

Originally published Nov 16, 2009 

Readers in the UK will undoubtedly know of the fantastic Channel 4 food series “River Cottage”. I was watching the first episode of the new Winter series yesterday morning with Spouse, (the pear lover) and we just had to make this slightly adapted version for dessert with our roast turkey Sunday supper.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the host and chef on the show, served his with clotted cream but I decided to serve it warm with a warm Creme Anglaise, which is a very simple custard sauce.

The cake was wonderfully moist and the pears were tender perfection. The Creme Anglaise complimented it perfectly too. This is a MUST TRY recipe! …and if you’ve never visited the “River Cottage, I highly recommend the journey!

Pear Almond Cake, ready for the oven.

Pear Almond Cake, ready for the oven.

Like this recipe?

If you liked this great recipe you may also like our recipe for Sunken Grape Almond Cake:

Sunken Grape Almond Cake single slice on white plate

Sunken Grape Almond Cake

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Pear Almond Cake title text

Pear Almond Cake title text
Yield: 14 or more servings

Pear Almond Cake with Creme Anglaise

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Pear Almond Cake with Creme Anglaise -A wonderfully moist and nutty flavoured cake with sweet pears baked right in and served with warm Creme Anglaise custard. A superb Autumn comfort food dessert.


  • 3-4 medium sized pears, peeled cored and quartered
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups butter (+ 1/4 cup / 55g butter )
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

For the Crème Anglaise

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or the seeds from one small vanilla pod
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, or use half milk and half whipping cream for a richer sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To Prepare the Pears

  1. Heat the 1/4 cup butter and brown sugar together in a large sauté pan until bubbling. Add the pears and nutmeg and cook until the pears are softened, tossing occasionally.
  2. To prepare the Almond Cake
  3. Cream together the 1 1/2 cups butter, sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beating after each addition.
  5. Sift together the flour, almonds, baking powder, pinch salt and cinnamon.
  6. Fold into the creamed butter mixture just until the flour is incorporated.
  7. Spoon the batter evenly into a greased and floured 10 inch spring form pan (no smaller!) Arrange the pears on top of the batter and pour the pan drippings from the sautéed pears over the top. Bake for about 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees F or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Serve warm with clotted cream or Crème Anglaise.

To make Creme Anglaise

  1. Scald the milk almost to boiling. Add vanilla seeds or extract at this point.
  2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar well together until pale.
  3. Slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the scalded milk to the whisked egg yolks and sugar whisking very quickly as you pour.
  4. Add this mixture to the pot along with the rest of the milk and stir constantly with a wooden spoon over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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    Nutrition Information



    Serving Size


    Amount Per Serving Calories 442Saturated Fat 13gCholesterol 142mgSodium 201mgCarbohydrates 47gFiber 2gSugar 33gProtein 6g

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    Sheila Boone

    Friday 6th of September 2019

    On what network do you watch River Cottage in NL?

    Barry C. Parsons

    Saturday 5th of October 2019

    I don't watch network TV any more but it was on PBS.

    Barry C. Parsons

    Tuesday 17th of November 2009

    I really couldn't say as I've never made a substitution. You could try adding a little more flour.


    Monday 16th of November 2009

    Barry, can you suggest a substitution for the ground almonds?


    Monday 16th of November 2009

    oh this must sure taste wonderful! i'll douse the whole thing with creme anglaise and add a dollop of ice cream on top for good measure :D

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