Red wine pear, polenta and ricotta cake


Two words - absolutely delicious!


  • 2 packham pears, peeled, cut into wedges
  • 375ml Tallis Dookie Hills Merlot
  • 1 1/2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 3/4 cup fine polenta (cornmeal)
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 tbs finely grated orange rind
  • 125ml orange juice
  • Double cream, to serve


  1. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper into a disc to fit the top of a large saucepan. Place pears, red wine and ½ cup of caster sugar into the saucepan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover with greaseproof paper and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.
  2. Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line the base and side of a 22cm round (base measurement) cake pan with baking paper. Place flours, remaining sugar, polenta, butter, eggs, baking powder, ricotta, orange rind and juice in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until well combined.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pears to the base of prepared cake pan. Pour over cake mixture and smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside in the pan to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, place the pear syrup over high heat and bring to the boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until syrup thickens. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  5. Turn the cake onto a clean surface. Cut into wedges. Drizzle with syrup and serve with double cream, if desired.