Halloween Hibernation with Pear & Ginger Traybake

halloween hibernation

It’s Sunday. I’ve been sat on my settee since about 3pm this afternoon. The fire is roaring, we’ve had hot chocolate with squirty cream and next to me is a few leftover slices of pear and ginger traybake.

It is utter, utter bliss.

The urge to hibernate is becoming more powerful as I become increasingly aware of the seasons. As we approach Halloween, as the evenings become darker, as we’re forced to do less outside, as the rain comes and the wind begins to howl down the chimney, I finally allow myself to relax. On a Sunday I have the need to be in front of the fire early in the afternoon covering my legs with a blanket; surrounding myself with books and notebooks.

Next to me on the table is an assortment of books and magazines reflecting the time of year. Right now it includes books on hygge as well as Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie. I like to tie in my reading with the yearly celebrations. Mind you, I can’t do ghost stories. But I adore a classic murder mystery. If I’m lucky there might be a re-run of Miss Marple on the TV, too, based around an old manor house surrounded by trees and the forbidding darkness. (There is always a female fox crying out in murder mysteries, which always gives me the chills.)

The pear and ginger traybake recipe below is a British take on Halloween from Bettys who have asked me what my halloween traditions are. And our halloween traditions are, simply, cosying up as a family. We carve pumpkins, we place them by the fire, we bake, draw the curtains, lock the doors, maybe get out the Monopoly and hibernate. My son has asked to watch a spooky programme on the television this year, too, so that should be fun…

pear and ginger traybake

Recipe for Pear & Ginger traybake (ever so slightly adapted from the original by Bettys).


  • 200g butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g dark soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
  • 1 cm stem ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 pears, ripe, cut into 1cm squares
  • 2 eggs
  • 120mls milk
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • (To decorate) 50g white chocolate


  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees fan.
  2. Prepare a 20-25cm baking tin, at least 3cm deep, by lining with baking parchment.
  3. In a bowl mix the butter, sugars, vanilla and cardamom.
  4. Add the grated and ground ginger, plus the diced pears.
  5. Stir in the eggs and milk then the flour and baking powder.
  6. Once well combined spread out in the baking tin and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
  7. It is done once golden and if it springs back when you press it lightly with your finger.
  8. Allow to cool slightly then remove from the tin and place on a wire cooling rack.
  9. Melt the chocolate (either in the microwave or over a pan of hot water) and create a spider’s web on top.
  10. Cut into squares and serve.

halloween hibernation

This blog post and recipe is in conjunction with Bettys and their British Take on Halloween campaign. As ever, though, all words, thoughts and pictures are my own.

Previous Post Next Post

You may also like


  • Reply Miranda | Miranda's Notebook

    That cake looks so delicious – how clever to do a spider web design on top. That looks just my sort of Halloween treat. I love reading Agatha Christie this time of year too (and have a few hygge books on the go too). I just finished Halloween Party, which I thought was rather appropriate 😉 xxx

    24th October 2016 at 10:03 am
  • Reply Penny

    Helen as you know I love your writing, amd one of the reasons is that you live the life you write about, rather than pull out meaningless seasonal phrases. I can feel that relief as you sit down and watch the fire growing, the cold fingers from doing outside chores start to thaw and tingle in the warmth, that first sip of a hot drink, and the sweet pleasure of choosing what to read. Wonderful. X

    24th October 2016 at 10:14 am
  • Leave a Reply