Leah Koenig’s Passover Pear Cake

One of the best Pesach cakes we’ve tasted. Ever. One of those ‘I can’t believe it’s a Pesach cake’ cakes. We’ve tried it with plums and almonds, and figs and hazelnuts and it is just so great! You can replace the matzo flour with plain (all purpose) flour for a cake any time of the year.

In Leah Koenig‘s wonderful book, ‘Modern Jewish Cooking’, Leah explains that she isn’t a fan of baking with matzo meal but in this cake, it’s very well hidden.

This recipe can also be found in our latest book, Now for Something Sweet

For all our best PFP recipes, check out this year’s Passover Roundup.

Leah Koenig's Passover Pear Cake
Votes: 10
Rating: 4.3
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
10 serves
10 serves
Leah Koenig's Passover Pear Cake
Votes: 10
Rating: 4.3
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
10 serves
10 serves
Servings: serves
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
  2. Line a 20 cm (8 inch) square baking tin.
  3. Mix together the pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.
  4. Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs until creamy and light. Add the sugar, 2 spoons at a time, whisking until the mixture is thick and billowy.
  5. Add the oil in a steady stream, followed by the vanilla, and whisk until just combined.
  6. Add the matzo flour and mix on low speed until just combined.
  7. Pour half the batter into the prepared tin. Sprinkle with half the pecan mixture and arrange half the pears on top.
  8. Add the remaining batter, smoothing the top with a spatula. Top with the remaining pears, followed by the remaining pecan mixture.
  9. Bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  10. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.

Adapted and printed with permission of the publisher, from Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes and customs for today’s kitchen by Leah Koenig, published by Chronicle Books, 2015.


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This is a wonderful and easy-to-bake and even easier-to-eat Romanian cheesecake loaf made with white cheese (farm or ricotta) and golden polenta. You just have to try it straight out of the oven with a dollop of sour cream - beyond delicious! Find the full recipe for our Romanian Malai from the kitchen of Debbie @delen_catering (which also appears in Now for Something Sweet) below.

3 eggs
230 g (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
60 ml (1/4 cup) oil, plus extra for greasing
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) farm (or dry cottage) cheese, chopped
125 g (scant 3/4 cup) polenta
finely grated zest of 1/2 an orange or lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
sour cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a loaf tin generously.

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and creamy.

With the mixer on low, pour in the oil and beat until combined. Add the cheese and beat well then add the polenta, lemon zest and salt.

Continue to beat until well combined. Don’t be concerned if you can still see lumps of cheese.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes .

Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of sour cream.

Makes 1 loaf.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge..
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