Pinkerton Pear Sponge
In the late 18th century, Wigan was the home to one of the finest orchard nurseries in the country –William Pinkerton’s. This Pinkerton Pear Sponge recipe is taken from the Around Britain cookbook.
Butter 110g (4oz), softened
Caster sugar 110g (4oz), plus 1 tbsp
Self-raising flour 175g (6oz)
Baking powder ½ tsp
Pears 2 William or Conference
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and lightly butter a 20cm (8in) loose-based sandwich tin.
Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs then sift and fold in the flour and baking powder. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the top.
Peel, halve and core the pears and slice them thinly lengthways. Fan the slices out on top of the sponge mixture. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of the extra sugar.
Bake in the middle of the oven for an hour, then 10–15 minutes longer if the sponge is not quite set in the middle. Remove from the oven and take out of the tin. Slice and serve warm with custard or cream or eat it cold.