Pears are lovely at the moment, a great winter fruit perfect for cakes or pies or puddings.
This simple cake makes the most of pears and is great for morning tea, afternoon tea or even as a dessert. You could substitute apples too.
I added a plum to the fruit for colour because I had one on hand but that’s entirely optional.
1 large plum (optional)
150g almonds flakes
2 large free-range eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond essence
50g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons Demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
Peel the pears and cut vertically into thin slices, avoiding the core. Cut the plum into slices if using.
Butter a 20 or 22cm cake tin. The smaller tin will give you a deeper cake, the larger tin will give you a flatter cake.
Line the base with baking paper.
Put the almond flakes into a food processor and blitz for a minute until you have small pieces. Remove from the processor.
Put the butter in the food processor and blitz until it is soft. Add the sugar and cream well. Add the eggs and mix until amalgamated. Add the essences and the buttermilk. Add the flour, baking powder and chopped almonds and blitz briefly.
Spoon the mixture into the prepare tin. Arrange the pear slices and plum slices (if using) in a circle around the mixture, any leftover can be put into the centre. Sprinkle with the Demerara sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Serve as is or drizzle with lemon icing. Make this by combining a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice with enough icing sugar to make a drizzle icing.
You could also great a little lemon or lime zest over the cake too.