Food and Drink: Passover pear cake!

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Food and Drink: Passover pear cake!

Ahead of Pesach, we pick out a yummy recipe by Leah Koenig from Modern Jewish Cooking!

One of the best Passover cakes we’ve tasted. Ever. One of those ‘I can’t believe it’s a Pesach cake’ cakes.

We’ve tried it with plums and almonds, and figs and hazelnuts and it is just so great!

You can replace the matzo meal with plain flour for a cake any time of the year.

In her book Modern Jewish Cooking, Leah Koenig explains that she isn’t a fan of baking with matzo meal, but in this cake it’s very well hidden.


  • 60g (½ cup/2 oz) pecans, chopped 
  • 110g (½  cup, firmly packed/3¾ oz) brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    Recipe by Leah Koenig from Modern Jewish Cooking, Chronicle Books, 2015. Extracted from Monday Morning Cooking Club: Now For Something Sweet published by HarperCollins, priced £25 (hardback)
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 eggs
  • 230g (1 cup/8 oz) caster  sugar
  • 125ml (½ cup/ 4 ¼ fl oz) oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 140g (1 cup/5 oz) superfine matzo meal (cake meal)
  • 4 medium pears, unpeeled, sliced

Serves: about 10

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Line a 20cm (8 inch) square baking tin.  
  2. Mix together the pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.
  3. Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs until creamy and light. Add the caster sugar, two spoons at a time, whisking until the mixture is thick and billowy. Add the oil in a steady stream, followed by the vanilla and whisk until just combined. Add the matzo meal and mix on low speed until just combined.
  4. Pour half the batter into the prepared tin.
  5. Sprinkle with half the pecan mixture and arrange half the sliced pears on top.
  6. Pour over the remaining batter, smoothing the top with a spatula. Top with the remaining pears, followed by the remaining pecan mixture.
  7. Bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.

Recipe by Leah Koenig from Modern Jewish Cooking, Chronicle Books, 2015. Extracted from Monday Morning Cooking Club: Now For Something Sweet published by HarperCollins, priced £25 (hardback)

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