After staring at a bowl of ripening pears and wondering what to do with them (I like them crunchy!) I decided the only thing was to make a cake! I’ve been on a bit of a baking frenzy recently after a couple of months of resting the oven. I blame the gradual change in weather… as the British summer time comes to an end more weekends are spend indoors making comfort food until it’s time to come out of hibernation again…
I have a lovely memory of when I had a slice of plum crumble cake in a little tea shop remember exactly how tasty it was. Since then, I’ve really wanted to try a cake with a crumbly topping but haven’t really gotten round to it so when I saw this Delia Smith recipe, I knew I had to give it a try! I’ve never really been one to try Delia Smith recipes so why not start with this one?! 🙂
The recipe is taken directly from the website but I had some missing ingredients and substituted some, so here is what I used…
(For the cake)
- 110g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g butter
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g ground almonds
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- 3 tbs milk
- 3 ripe pears; peeled, cored and quartered
(For the topping)
- 50g melted butter
- 75g self raising flour
- 30g dark brown sugar
- 20g caster sugar
- 40g flaked almonds
- icing sugar (for dusting)
- Mix the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then add all the other ingredients (except the pears). Whisk together until evenly combined. Spoon the mixture into a prepared tin (I used a 18cm round tin, though the recipe advises for a 20cm tin.
- Arrange the pears in a circle on top of the cake batter.
- To make the topping, mix the flour and sugar in a bowl then add the melted butter and lightly crumble it with a fork. After stir in the nuts, sprinkle the mixture all over the pears and bake near the centre of the oven for 35- 45 minutes at 180 degrees C.
- Leave it to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before attempting to take the cake out of the tin
- Just before serving, dust the surface with icing sugar.
This cake is fairly easy to put together but it looks like you spent a lot more time on it!
There isn’t a lot of cake batter so I would check the cake after 30 minutes of baking to ensure it doesn’t overcook. The cake itself is quite dense but the moisture of the pears helps to lighten it up. The crumbly almond topping gives a nice contrast too.
Overall I liked the final result but adding a flavouring to the sponge next time would make it even tastier?! A little cardamom or cocoa powder perhaps…
Serve this pear and almond cake warm with a little ice cream or if you’re living in a colder climate some thick custard would make this cake an extra special treat! 😀