Pear, Ricotta & Earl Grey Sponge

This takes no more time to make than one of those “shake-a-cake” atrocities, but couldn’t taste more different. The combination of pear and Earl Grey is a personal favourite: elegant, subtly perfumed and intrinsically wintery. The days are so short at the moment that in Winter perhaps more than any other time of year you want bang for buck from your recipes and this delivers exactly that. The end result is somewhere in between a sponge and a cheesecake. There is no need for any icing or further embellishment, just a cup of tea on the side. Feel free to use other fruits if you wish, omit the Earl Grey, add some lemon zest, lemon thyme…whatever you wish.

180g Ricotta

150g Butter, salted, softened

200g Sugar

3 Eggs

120g Self raising flour

1-2 Earl Grey teabags, contents emptied

2 Large pears, peeled, cored, de-seeded and chopped into roughly 3 cm pieces

3 tbsp Honey

- Preheat an oven to 160℃ and line a 26cm springform cake tin with baking paper on the base and along the sides.

- Beat together the ricotta, soft butter, sugar, eggs, flour and tea.

- Mix in the chopped pears then pour the cake mix into the prepared cake tin.

- Bake for 45 mins then leave to cool and unmould when still slightly warm.

- Melt the honey in a microwave or pan then brush over to glaze the cake.

- Best served just warm, but it can be reheated very well in a microwave if you like.

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