Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line base and grease and flour sides of a springform cake tin – 25 cm
Chop walnuts and transfer to a bowl.
Chop pears and transfer them to a bowl with chopped walnuts.
Place oil, sugar, flour, evaporated milk, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla and eggs in a mixing bowl then mix with an electric beater until combined and frothy.
Add reserved chopped pears and walnuts then mix until all the fruit and nuts are mixed through.
Transfer to the prepared tin and bake for 45-55 minutes (200°C) until the skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Allow the cake to stand in the tin for 10 minutes.
Remove from the tin and turn the cake upside down for 10 minutes.
Place the correct side up and allow to cool before dusting with icing sugar and caramelised nuts if desired and serve.
To make the caramelised walnuts, heat the sugar over low heat until all the sugar is dissolved and a golden syrup develops. Add the walnuts, stir quickly and pour onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper. The sugar will harden very quickly. When cool, break into pieces.
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