Fifteen years ago we booked five no return tickets to Scotland, and for my family and me, this was the best decision ever.
When I moved in this country the first thing that struck me was the wind, a constant companion that keeps the air clean, makes the weather extremely changeable and most of all bring you smells from far away.
For the past 15 years, I lived in Perth and Kinross, and the wind used to smell of mountain, woodlands and, sometimes, snow. It reminded me of my childhood in the dolomites that I spent skiing and hiking with my family and friends. Now that I moved to Midlothian, the wind bring smells of grass, the countryside and the sea.
Portobello beach is just a few minutes away from my new home and I love to go there and walk along the promenade. I often go there with my kids and my dog. My son like to look for seashell and other treasure and my dog loves to play on the shore.
To celebrate 15 years in this amazing country, I decided to prepare a pear and lemon cake that my great-aunt taught me many years ago.
She lived near lake Garda in a beautiful house with a terrace overlooking the lake. For me this cake is perfect for this time of the year when there are the first hints of autumn in the air but summer it’s still very present in your memory.
As in Scotland summer it’s not as hot as in Italy I don’t crave autumn as much now but I know many of my friends in Italy do especially after a long and very hot summer.
Pear and lemon cake
Pear and lemon cake
100g icing sugar
20g corn flour
2 medium eggs
3g (1 tsp) baking powder
In a bowl mix the flour with the baking powder and the corn flour.
in a big bowl cream the icing sugar with the butter, add half of the flour and mix.
Add one egg, and mix, add the rest of the flour and stir it through.
Add the second egg and the grated zest of 1/2 lemon.
Wash and the pears (you can peel them if you prefer) cut the pears in quarters and then cut 2-3 slices from each quarter.
Chop in chunks half of the pears and add it to the cake mixture.
Pour the cake mixture in a prepared 7-8 inches cake tin and top with the rest of the pears slices.
Bake at 180 C/ gas mark 4 for about 30-40 minutes.