Thursday, 15 September 2011

Tarte de Cambrai

The title suggests something far fancier than the pears-in-batter pudding that it actually is. It's lucky, then, that fanciness is not a quality I am worried about when cooking, otherwise simpler pleasures such as this may have escaped me. Apart from the fruit, everything in the recipe is a store cupboard ingredient, meaning you only have to do some minimal shopping followed by some chopping and light stirring to make a comforting, sleep-inducing pudding.

The recipe comes from Jane Grigson's Fruit Book, which I urge anyone with even a fleeting interest in cooking to read.

* Update- 14/10/15*

I make this pudding quite a lot, it is easy to make, I am likely to have all the ingredients in store. I have experimented with changing the fruit too I think pear is still my favourite, but blueberries are a close second. One change that I have made that I am sticking to is to use melted butter instead of oil-the flavour is better.

4 large pears
1 tbsp lemon juice 
10 tbsp self raising flour
8 tbsp vanilla sugar, or caster sugar and a tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp oil (or melted butter, see update)
2 eggs
8 tbsp milk
60 grams unsalted butter
extra sugar to sprinkle

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, and grease and line a 25cm cake tin or flan dish. Peel, core and slice the pears, put in a container, sprinkle over the lemon juice, turning them over so they are coated. Mix together the flour and sugar in a bowl, then stir in the oil. Beat in the eggs, and then the milk. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and lay the pears over. Dot with the butter, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 50 minutes till slightly puffy and browned. Serve warm with cream.


  1. This is THE most delicious fruit cake and almost health food compared to most sweet and fat cakes. Everyone I've introduced to it with any variety of fruit used ends up begging for the recipy. Dear Mrs Grigson has done a great deal of good for us fruit-lovers. I served this with pear cider and decorated with violets and marigolds:

  2. I've brought up my family on this for a generation. They love it. Add almonds or pecans on the top before baking and sprinkle Demerara sugar too. Gorgeous. Paul Bailey