Tamarillo, Pear and Spice Cake

Tamarillo, Pear and Spice Cake

I love using my cast iron and copper sauté pans for making cakes in. They cook beautifully and I serve the cakes straight from the pan. Tangy tamarillos combine well with the sweet pears and adding a hint of orange and a dash of spice makes for a moist seasonal cake.


4 large tamarillos
1¾ cups plain flour
pinch of salt
1 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons ground mixed spice
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest 
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced
¼ cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons demarara or raw sugar


Lightly grease a 26cm ovenproof sauté pan or a 26cm springform cake tin and line with baking paper

Preheat the oven to 170˚C.

Cut a small cross in the pointed end of each tamarillo then drop into a saucepan of boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and carefully peel off the skin and trim the stem end. Slice into 1cm thick rounds.
Cake: Combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and soda and the mixed spice in a large bowl.
Whisk the sour cream until smooth then whisk in the orange zest, eggs and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and gently but thoroughly combine then add the pears and mix through.
Spoon the batter into the pan and top with the tamarillos. Scatter over the almonds and sugar. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cover the top loosely with foil after 30 minutes if the top is getting too brown before the cake is fully cooked.
Lovely served just warm, dusted with icing sugar and softly whipped cream. Serves 8