pear and halva crumble loaf with pecans, honey & maple

Pear and halva crumble loaf with pecans, honey & maple - adpated from Donna Hay

Pear and halva crumble loaf with pecans, honey & maple - adapted from Donna Hay

There are times when you are cruising around the Internet and stumble across a recipe so enticing you simply have to make it as soon as possible. This actually happens to me ALL the time. I wasn’t on the internet as such but rather reading Donna Hays latest mag on my iPad which I subscribe to. She had me at halva and then pears, and then pecans, and the whole thing sounded so damn delicious I had to get busy. This pear and halva crumble loaf with pecans is absolutely phenomenal and a great base recipe to add a few tweaks to.

Pear and halva crumble loaf with pecans, honey & maple

I took a perfectly awesome recipe and made a few minor changes. Not because I was trying to be clever but I didn’t have any self-raising flour so I made my own and used half whole wheat flour because its healthier. This kind of loaf can easy handle the extra wheat bits. I used a combination of honey and maple instead of straight maple because it’s so expensive here and I also didn’t have enough. I’m pretty much drowning in honey here so it made sense. I also used pecan flour for the toping because that is another ingredient I’ve had in my freezer for ages and been dying to use .*Pecan nut flour is ground up pecan nuts like almond flour / meal. 

I bought the halva in Israel last year whilst on an amazing food adventure and I’ve been dying to use it in a recipe since. I think its pretty genius how its used here. It doesnt add too much sweetness either. Cocoa nibs are my latest obsession in baking and desserts so any chance to throw those in the mix I’m keen. They add the most in credible depth and crunch without the sweetness. They are quite simply a textural gold mine.

Pear and halva crumble loaf with pecans, honey & maple - adapted from Donna Hay

Pear and halva crumble loaf with pecans, honey & maple - adapted from Donna Hay

I love Donna Hay magazine for many reasons but mainly because Australia and South Africa are in the same hemisphere so we share the same seasons. I love being inspired in the moment by produce that is readily available.

Go in haste and make this loaf cake. It’s not too sweet and has a lovely soft crumb. It could probably carry more fruit if you wanted and I for one love my fruitcakes and loaves heavily laden. It’s also all made by hand in one bowl making things super easy. The butter is browned first adding amazing flavour and making me wonder why I don’t do this all the time. This loaf is perfect with a cup of tea and will last for a few days if you have the will power to let it.

* cooks notes ~ I found I needed to bake this loaf for a good 25 minutes longer than the original recipe and I loosely covered it with foil throughout the baking time to prevent over browning.

Recipe makes 1 large loaf – adapted from Donna Hay Magazine April – May 2017 edition


  • 100 gms butter (I always use salted even if the recipe says unsalted)
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (or ¾ cup honey or maple if you prefer)
  • 2 large free- range eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g halva, crumbled
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 – 3 large pears (about 500gms in total) peeled, cored and chopped
  • ½ cup pecans finely chopped

Crumble topping

  • 40gms butter, melted
  • ½ cup pecan / almond flour (or regular flour)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar (I used Muscavado)
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa nibs
  • ¼ cup pecans (30g) chopped

Pre heat the oven to 160C (325 F and line a large loaf tin (21cm x 11cm) with baking paper.

Melt the butter in a small pot and cook for about 4 minutes until its starts to go brown. Pour this into a bowl and allow to cool slightly.

Add the honey, maple syrup, eggs, milk and vanilla to the bowl and whisk until well combined.

Add the flour, baking powder and crumbled halva and whisk until smooth.

Stir though the chopped pears and pecans and then empty the mixture into the lined loaf tin and spread it evenly with a spatula.

Make the crumble by mixing all of the crumble ingredients in a bowl and then spreading this over the surface of the loaf batter.

Bake the loaf for 1 hour and 35 – 45 minutes and until the cake is done. The loaf should be firm to the touch and when a knife is inserted in the middle and it comes out clean. If it is not done continue to bake until it is. Cover the top loosely with a piece of tin foil to prevent over browning if necessary.

Pear and halva crumble loaf with pecans, honey & maple - adapted from Donna Hay




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19 Responses to pear and halva crumble loaf with pecans, honey & maple

  1. Debbi March 28, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

    Looks good, but I never heard of halva? I’ll google it. Thanks

  2. Di @ Bibbyskitchen March 28, 2017 at 3:30 pm #

    I have no words for this. From start to finish – awesomeness. The most beautiful images and the halva seals the deal. So in luck, ’cause I have a bowl of pears waiting in the kitchen. Can I just double check the butter ; is it 10g or 100g? Thanks Sam.

  3. Sam March 28, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

    Thanks Di and oops -its 100gms and Ive updated the recipe. Thanks for picking that up xx

  4. Sam March 28, 2017 at 3:33 pm #

    HI Debbi – its a Middle Eastern confection made form sesme seeds and sugar and nuts. It can be found at speciality stores and deli’s although I have seen it at many Spar’s too.

  5. El Oso con Botas March 28, 2017 at 3:41 pm #

    Wow, I love that chair with pears Sam… Well done !!

  6. Robyn March 28, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

    This looks so delicious Sam! Your photographs are absolutely exquisite!
    Very inspiring, can’t wait to make it.

  7. Sam March 28, 2017 at 4:09 pm #

    Thanks Robyn x

  8. Lizet Hartley March 28, 2017 at 5:01 pm #

    Just too beautiful for words Sam. You took a double dose of your daily morning creative juice, obvs. 🙂

  9. Sam March 28, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

    Ha ha Lizet 🙂 *flops on couch in exhaustion*

  10. Sam March 28, 2017 at 5:39 pm #

    Thanks so much – Ive had that chair since I was a little girl and I was so pleased I could find a use for it in my styling.

  11. Ernesto March 28, 2017 at 6:43 pm #

    Oh My your photos are the best so artistic, what camera you using of course it
    s more then a camera here, also the recipe is a must make .
    Thank You so much your so inspiring.
    Chef Ernest

  12. caroliedekoster March 28, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

    Such a luxurious combination of ingredients it is hard to imagine the taste! Will have to buy Halva at our Turkish to go shop – it is difficult to find in NZ.

  13. Erin @ Brownie Bites Blog March 28, 2017 at 11:12 pm #

    The bread itself looks and sounds delightful, but these photos are completely gorgeous!!

  14. Sam March 29, 2017 at 8:28 am #

    Thnaks so much Erin. The bread is really delicious

  15. Sam March 29, 2017 at 8:29 am #

    Thanks Ernesto. I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark 111 but for me, most of food photography is about shaping light and creating just the right amount.

  16. patisseriemakesperfect March 29, 2017 at 11:50 am #

    I love these photos Sam. They look like they’ve been taken in a little English cottage in the countryside. I imagine someone coming home from a hard days work outside and a slice of this offering some comfort and sustenance.

    Is this quite a firm cake? Can it withstand a thin spread of butter, or does it not need it? One of my favourite things is to take tea loaf, toast it lightly and spread it with a tiny bit of butter.

    This is a great recipe, I love Donna Hay too!

  17. Debbie March 30, 2017 at 11:38 pm #

    Stunning photos – could you please tell me what the backdrop is?

  18. Sam March 31, 2017 at 10:25 am #

    Thanks Debbie its an old metal kist

  19. Laura | Tutti Dolci March 31, 2017 at 10:27 pm #

    What a beautiful loaf for autumn and pear season. Can’t wait to try this next fall!

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