Pear and Cardamon “gingerbread”
250g dried pears, roughly chopped
300ml pear or apple juice
4 teaspoons cardamon pods
225g black treacle
225g golden syrup
350g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
115g light muscovado sugar
350g medium oatmeal
1 tablespoon porridge oats
Preheat the oven to 160 C. Grease a 20cm square cake tin and line with greaseproof paper. Put the pears in a pan with the fruit juice. Bring to the boil, and remove from the heat. Leave to cool in the juice.
Grind the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar to release the seeds. Discard the pods and put the seeds to one side. Heat the treacle, syrup and margarine in a pan and stir until the margarine has melted. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and cloves into a bowl and stir in the sugar and oatmeal.
Add half the pears and all the fruit juice to the bowl, adding the cardamom seeds and the margarine mixture. Stir until combined.
Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and scatter the remaining pears and porridge oats over the top. Bake for about one and a quater hours until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. DO NOT OVER COOK or it will become dry.
Leave to cool before removing from the tin.