This is one of our fave tea cakes to serve during a relaxed afternoon tea. Made with sour cream and fresh poached fruit, it's moist and delicious with a light texture. Be sure to use real vanilla bean, it really does make a difference!
Pear and raspberry tea cake
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
350g caster sugar
1 and 1/3 vanilla beans, seeds scraped
4 eggs, at room temperature
200g tub sour cream
300g self-raising flour, sifted
24 poached pear wedges (see method below)
150g fresh (or frozen) raspberries
For poached pears, peel and wash 3 beurre bosc pears and cut in to 24 wedges (8 wedges per pear). Start your sugar syrup by adding 400g caster sugar, 700ml water, the scraped seeds from 1/3 of a vanilla bean and half a lemon, sliced, to a large saucepan. Bring to the boil on high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a slow simmer and add the pear wedges to poach for around 25 minutes, or until the pear can easily be pierced with a knife. Take off heat and drain, reserving the liquid if desired. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius (190 degrees celcius if fan forced). Grease and line a 12" round cake tin with baking paper. Add butter to electric mixer and using paddle attachment, cream butter for about a minute. Add the sugar and vanilla seeds and beat on medium-high until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, making sure it's well incorporated after each addition. Turn the mixer speed down to medium-low and add the sour cream in two batches until just combined, then add the flour in two batches being careful not to overwork the batter.
Spoon the batter in to the prepared tin and using a spatula gently smooth the top to form an even layer. Arrange the poached pear wedges in a circular formation on top of the batter and sprinkle the raspberries on top. Bake in oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer poked in the centre comes out clean. If the top of the cake starts to brown, cover loosely with baking paper. Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin for 30 minutes before turning on to a wire rack to cool.
Cake is best eaten on the day of baking but will last well for up to three days in an airtight container.
Best served with a spoon of double cream and a lovely pot of English Breakfast. Enjoy!