125g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon1 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of fine sea salt
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
A pinch ground cloves
1 medium egg
125g light brown sugar
90g black treacle
125ml soured milk (I used a few drops lemon juice added to fresh milk)
400g tin of drained pears
walnut halves to decorate
To make the topping, gently melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the sugar and stir for 1-2 mins (mine looked a bit separated at this point, it didn't seem to matter) Smooth over the base of a greased 20cm cake tin with a removable base, 7cm deep (I used a larger tin about 23cm) Arrange the pears on top, cut-side down with a few walnuts around the outside.
Blend the egg, sugar, treacle, soured milk and butter in a separate large bowl, and fold in the flour mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon for 1 minute, and then pour the mixture over the fruit in the tin. Put on a baking tray and bake for 40-50 minutes (check at 40 mins) until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (try to skewer a patch with cake rather than a pear!). Remove from the oven, run a knife around the edge and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
To serve, remove the collar if using the tin with the removable base, and turn onto a plate or cake stand. Enjoy warm or at room temperature. Avoid chilling. Serve with cream or creme fraiche.