Pecan, Pear and Sweet Mince Squares

With or without cranberries

A cake with the best of the festive flavours which can be made in many shapes - round, square or rectangular. Add a few fresh cranberries to it if you like as they come into season. Again, the all-in-one method made either with Neills plain flour and baking powder or self raising flour, whichever you have in the cupboard.

Method
  1. Line a 7 inch (approximately) tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 375°F/Gas No 5.
  3. Prepare the pears. Peel, core and cut into chunks.


To Prepare the Cake Mixture either in a Blender or Bowl.

  1. Place the softened butter, caster sugar, lightly beaten egg, Neills sifted flour, baking powder, lemon rind, ground almonds, vanilla essence together and beat well until smooth and creamy. You may need to add 2-3 tbsp milk to form a soft dropping consistency.
  2. Transfer half the cake mixture into the prepared tin then scatter over the chopped pears, mincemeat.
  3. Spoon over the remainder of the cake mixture then smooth and scatter with coarsely chopped pecan nuts and a few cranberries.
  4. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until golden, well risen and firm.
  5. Remove, dust with icing sugar and cut into squares.
Ingredients
  • 200g/8oz Neills Self Raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 175g/7oz softened butter or fat
  • 150g/6oz caster sugar
  • 3 eggs – lightly beaten
  • 50g/2oz ground almonds
  • Few drops vanilla essence
  • 1 lemon – rind only
  • 25g/1oz pecan nuts – coarsely chopped
  • 2 pears – cut into large chunks
  • 4 tbsp mincemeat
  • 25g/1oz cranberries – optional