Hazelnut Pear Cake with Cream

Simple but impressive, this flourless cake highlights juicy poached pears. Serve it with caramel or rum sauce.

Recipe Tags:

Preparation Time:

Cooking Time:

Servings: 10

Share this recipe:


  • 4-1/2 cups (1.125 L) water
  • 2-3/4 cups (675 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) vanilla
  • 5 Ontario Pears, peeled, cored and halved
  • 2 cups (500 mL) ground hazelnuts (filberts)
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) cornstarch
  • 6 Ontario Eggs, separated
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cream of tartar
  • 3 tbsp (50 mL) icing sugar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cardamom (optional)


In large saucepan, combine water, 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) of the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of the vanilla; stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Add pears; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until pears are just tender, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Let pears cool in syrup. (Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated.)

Drain pears well, reserving syrup for another use. Combine hazelnuts, 1 cup (250 mL) of the remaining sugar and cornstarch; set aside.

In large bowl, beat egg yolks until frothy. Stir in remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla and hazelnut mixture until well combined; set aside.

With clean beaters, beat egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat until mixture holds soft peaks. Beat in remaining 1/4 cup (50 mL) sugar until peaks are stiff. Fold one-third into egg yolk mixture until well combined. Gently fold in remaining whites. Pour into well-greased and floured 10-inch (3 L) springform pan. Leaving 1-inch (2.5 cm) border, arrange pear halves atop batter, cut side down and stem end toward centre, putting one half in centre.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 1 hour and 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and cake part no longer looks wet. Cool on rack for 15 minutes. Run sharp knife around edge of pan. Remove side and with metal spatula, the bottom of pan; cool completely on rack.

To serve, sprinkle with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the icing sugar pushed through small sieve. Add remaining icing sugar to whipping cream along with cardamom (if using) and whip into soft peaks. Serve each cake slice with a dollop of whipped cream.

Nutritional information

  • Protein: 8.0 grams
  • Fat: 30.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 48.0 grams
  • Calories: 499