4 ripe pears, peeled and halved
4 large eggs, at room temperature
250g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened
250g ground almonds
50g plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon almond essence
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the base of a 20cm cake tin with parchment paper.
Make the batter.
Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until it is soft. Add the eggs one at a time beating well in between and adding some flour after each egg. Continue to do this until all the eggs and flour have been used. Fold in the almonds, almond essence, the lemon juice and the zest.
Prepare the pears.
Cut the pears in half and then make 6 cuts lengthways in each half without cutting all the way through.
Place the batter into the baking tin and smooth it on top. Fan out the pears out on top of the batter. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and dust the icing sugar over the cake.