Medlar is a rose family member but probably due to the pits inside, it is far less popular than e.g. an apple. The Medlar Mespilus germanica tree (or shrub) is greatly ornamental, especially when in bloom. So if you are looking for an old cultivar with useful fruit, this one is a delight to have and requires little keep up work. And as for the fruit: it’s really special and it gives this cakes a delicious sweetness and unusual crumb.
50g whole wheat flour
100ml cream (+35% fat)
100g butter (melted but not hot)
200g fresh medlar pulp *
3 eggs (split)
1 pear (Doyenne Du Comice, slightly over-ripe but not too soft)
80g whole cane sugar
2 tsp Fabulously Dutch spiced coconut blossom sugar
2 tbsp honey (Acacia)
1 tbsp cacao powder
¼ tsp cloves (ground)
pinch of salt
dusting sugar (optional)
- In a bowl mix medlar pulp, honey and spiced coconut blossom sugar well and set aside.
- De-core and peel the pear. Cut into small pieces of ca. 2x2cm and set aside.
- In another bowl mix flour, cane sugar, cream, melted butter and egg yolks. Add cloves and cacao powder. Add 1/2 of the medlar mix to it, stir well to incorporate both. Set aside, too.
- Beat the egg whites stiffly with a pinch of salt. Carefully incorporate into the batter, trying to preserve as much as you can the airiness of the egg whites. This will contribute later on to your cake’s crumb structure.
- Butter and flour a cake baking form. Preheat the oven to 175 ºC.
- You will be pouring the batter in 3 parts into the form. Firstly, ⅓ to cover the bottom evenly. Spread all the pear pieces atop.
- Then pour the second ⅓ of the batter atop the pear pieces and cover them. Spread the medlar mix evenly (use the back of a spoon).
- And finally pour the last ⅓ of the batter atop the medlar pulp mix. You can add some dusting sugar now or after the cake is baked. (We did it after baking while the cake was still warm. It is not visible on the photos as it melted away.)
- Bake for 30 minutes with the form covered. ** Then remove the cover and bake for another 10 minutes without a cover. The cake is ready when a wooden skewer is inserted and comes out clean.
Notes: * Medlar pulp: We will not tell you that it is a quick job but it can be very meditative and the taste is fresher and more alluring. However, if you are simply not keen on de-pitting the medlars or you can’t find them then you can use medlar jam/jelly alternatively. Boerderij ‘t Geertje makes their own staple (and they are deee-lishous; try also the quince one) and Smits Specialiteiten has a lovely one, too – the latter one is spiced, keep that in mind.
** If you don’t cover the cake during the first 30 minutes of baking it will need icing as the crust will get too hard (we are not in favor due to the added, and in our opinion, unnecessary sugar). We also do not add baking powder to keep it ‘clean’. If you beat the egg whites really stiff (knife cut stays visible) your cake will be airy and moist.
Here are the exact things we used:
- Flour: we used Zonnespelt – Biologische Tarwebloem, bought locally at the store of Fruittuin van West
- Whole wheat flour: we got ours at Pit&Pit
- Pear: we picked ours at Olmenhorst
- Medlars: we bought ours at Jomajole and De Sfeerstal
- Eggs: for us there is only those from the local farmer, free range chickens living a happy and healthy life
- Cream: we buy ours fresh from the farmer, Pur Natur is lovely, too
- Butter: we buy ours freshly at Kaasboerderij Captein (no packaged butter can compete with the taste of fresh farm butter…)
- Acacia honey: we get ours from a friend, Imkerij Immenhof is lovely, too
- Whole cane sugar: we used DM Vollrohr Zucker (which we pick up when we are in Germany)
- Spiced coconut blossom sugar: an original Fabulously Dutch recipe, you can find it here
- Cacao powder: we got ours from Pit&Pit
- Dusting sugar: we buy ours in bulk from the Sligro Forepark, Den Haag
- Place mat: Vintage (Mexico)
- Bread baking tin: we used Emile Henry’s bread baking form as it has a lid with air openings