Fresh Fruit Cake with Pears
4 large ripe pears, peeled and cored
100 g butter
4 T (60 ml) honey
pinch of salt
½ cup (85 g) seedless raisins
1 x 600 g Ina Paarman’s Vanilla Cake Mix
1/2 t (2.5 ml) ground cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
250 g butter, at room temperature
3 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (250 ml) sour cream or buttermilk
icing sugar for dusting (optional)
Cut the pears into 1 cm cubes. Melt the butter in a large, heavy based frying pan over medium high heat and sauté the diced pears in the butter until tender.
Add honey, salt and raisins and cook over high heat until a brown caramel sauce forms. Allow to cool completely.
Adjust oven rack to the middle position.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Grease a 22 cm diameter round and 5 – 7 cm high, cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Add cinnamon and cloves to the dry Cake Mix.
Cream the butter until soft and then add 1 egg and 1 T (15 ml) of Cake Mix at a time, beating after each addition, until you have used all three eggs.
Add the sour cream or buttermilk and beat it in. Add all the remaining Cake Mix. Gently fold the dry mix in by hand with a spatula until mixed, but with some dry flour still visible here and there.
Fold in the cooled pears until mixed through. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared pan. Level the top.
Bake for ± 1 ½ hours. After an hour, cover the cake lightly with baking paper or foil to prevent over browning.
Allow to cool.
Serve, plain or lightly dusted with icing sugar. Slice and enjoy with a good cup of coffee.
This cake keeps well in the fridge, in an airtight container for 3 days, and it freezes beautifully.