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Le Cordon Bleu News, 05/01/2012
Pistachio cake with spice poached pear
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About this recipe

Awaken your sweet tooth with this deliciously soft pistachio cake and tender, subtly spiced poached pear.

Recipe - Pistachio cake with spiced poached pear

Serves: 8

Preparation time: 45 minutes

In this recipe:

  • Pistachio paste
  • Ground almonds
  • Pears
  • Cinnamon
  • Licorice



16 cm loaf mold
Pistachio cake:
125 g butter
190 g powdered sugar
65 g ground almonds
65 g flour
15 g pistachio paste
4 egg whites
Spiced poached pear:
8 firm pears
1 liter water
500 g sugar
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 licorice sticks
2 vanilla beans (pods), split lengthways
saffron threads

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  1. Pistachio cake: In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter until it is nut-brown in color. The whey content will sink to the bottom of the pan and begin to brown. Be careful not to burn the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately strain the butter through a china cap sieve. Set aside at room temperature. In a bowl, sift the powdered sugar, ground almonds and flour and stir. Add a little egg white to the pistachio paste to soften. Add the remaining egg whites and softened pistachio paste to the dry ingredients and mix well. Then carefully fold in the nut-brown butter. Refrigerate the batter for at least an hour before use.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Butter the mold and pour in the pistachio cake batter. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until the cake is golden brown or until the point of a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Unmold onto a rack and set aside.
  3. Spiced poached pears: In a heavy based saucepan, mix all of the ingredients for the syrup together. Over medium heat, bring to the boil, and then reduce the heat and leave to simmer. Meanwhile, peel the pears and leave their stem in place. Remove the core from the bottom of the pear using a knife or apple corer. Place the whole pears in the simmering syrup; cook until a knife can be easily inserted into the center of the pears. Remove pears from the syrup and drain. Remove the vanilla beans and set aside for decoration.
  4. To serve: Slice the pistachio cake into thin slices. Place two or three slices on a plate and position one or two spiced poached pears next to the cake. Decorate with a few drops of syrup and a halved vanilla bean.
  5. Note: The cake batter can be made the day before. You can use a savarin mold or any other shape you choose. To serve, the pears can also be quartered.

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