[RECIPE] Maple-walnut and pear tart

[RECIPE] Maple-walnut and pear tart

This is an adaptation from a recipe by David Lebovitz, an American pastry chef living in Paris. A legend in the pastry world, his book "Ready for dessert" is inspirational, although not vegan-friendly. This is the first of a series of recipe adaptations from that book.

Inviting autumn/winter smells will envelop your kitchen. Grab a couple of bosc pears, some wholegrain flour and let's go! This upside-down cake is best served warm with ice cream or a fruit compote. 


prep 30 min
bake time 50 min
feeds 8-10 people


80ml/110g maple syrup
60g dark brown sugar
50g walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
3 ripe bosc pears, peeled, cored, and sliced lengthwise into 4-5mm slices
  • Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan-forced) and grease a 23cm spring-form cake tin with coconut oil. Line the bottom with baking paper. 
  • Make the topping by combining the maple syrup and brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and bring to a gentle bubbling over low heat. Simmer gently for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Remove from the and heat pour the caramel into the cake tin. Sprinkle the walnuts evenly, and arrange the pear slices over the walnuts in an overlapping pattern, and set the tin aside for now.
175g stoneground wholegrain flour (wheat or spelt), or 210g plain white flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
  • Whisk the dry ingredients together in a small bowl
40g chickpea flour
60ml water
50g aquafaba
½ vanilla extract
75g coconut oil, softened (see foot note here)
13g/1 tbsp canola oil, or other unflavoured vegetable oil
30g oat milk, or other plant-based milk
100g raw sugar
60g dark brown sugar
125g oat milk, or other plant-based milk
  • Whisk chickpea flour, water, aquafaba and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth.
  • Beat both oils, 30g milk and both sugars in a stand mixer for 3-5 minutes until fluffy.
  • Add half of the chickpea flour mixture to the mixer and beat on low until incorporated, then add the rest of it until smooth, 1 minute.
  • Gradually mix in half of the flour mixture. Stir in 125g milk followed by the rest of the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
  • Pour the batter onto the pears in the cake tin, in an even layer, being careful not to disturb the pears.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean, and leave to cool for 15 minutes
  • Run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen it from the tin. Place a serving plate on top of the cake, grab both the plate and the tin and turn them over. Open the tin and lift it off.


  • This cake keeps for 2 days at room temperature, and can be warmed up covered with foil in a low oven.
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