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Can I Use Fresh Pears In The Gorgeously Golden Fruit Cake?

Asked by LadyWallwork. Answered on 4th May 2023

Full question

The Gorgeously Golden Fruit Cake recipe states dried pears - but I'm unlikely to find these on the Isle of Skye where I live. However I would like to use fresh ones - is it possible and what would be the weight? Or how do I dry out fresh pears? Thanks!

Gorgeously Golden Fruit Cake
Photo by Lis Parsons
Gorgeously Golden Fruit Cake
By Nigella
  • 14
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Our answer

Nigella's Gorgeously Golden Fruit Cake (from CHRISTMAS) is a gluten-free cake that is moist and moreish. It uses a combination of golden-coloured dried fruits, including dried pears. These are easiest to find online, though we appreciate that the shipping may be more complicated given the location.

Unfortunately we don't think that fresh pears will work in the recipe. Dried fruits have very little liquid in them and will produce a firm cake. If you use fresh pears then they will release liquid as they cook. This will make the cake quite wet and liable to fall apart. It is possible to dry your own pears using a dehydrator or in the oven. We don't have a method ourselves but there are plenty available on the internet. The store-bought dried pears are usually the ready to eat type, so slightly soft, and you should bear this in mind if making your own dried pears. Don't dry them for so long that they are completey crisp. Alternatively, you could replace the dried pears with the same weight of extra dried apricots.


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