Pear & Almond Cake with Almond Crunch Topping
(Delicious Magazine Published Jan 2008 )
175g softened butter
150g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
220g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp grated nutmeg
140ml sour cream
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
50g ground almonds
a little lemon juice
50g light muscovado sugar
2tbp double cream
75g flaked almonds
1. Line a 20cm springform tin with non-stick baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180C
2 .Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time adding a spoonful of flour each time. Sift remaining flour, pinch of salt, bicarbonate of soda and nutmeg together. Fold half the flour into the creamed mixture. Fold in the soured cream, zest and almonds then remaining flour.
3. Peel, core and slice the pears. Toss with lemon juice to prevent discolouration. Spread half of the cake mixture over the base of the tin, cover with the pears, then the remaining cake mixture. Bake for 40 mins.
4. Meanwhile make the topping. Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the sugar and cream, then stir in the almonds.
5. Remove the cake from the oven and pour the almond mixture evenly over the top. Bake for a further 20-25 mins or until toffee-coloured and a skewer comes out clean from centre of cake. Remove and serve warm or cold.
La Femme version:
The only thing I would say is that it actually tasted better cold with a little cream.
I used this for a lesson on Sparkling and Sweet wines. The Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc was divine with this and frankly the deliciously ripe pear flavour matched the pear notes in the Champagne and Spanish Cava we tried. These two traditional method wines also had degrees of nuttiness and autolytic notes (flavours derived from resting on dead yeast cells) which went particularly well with the toasty almond topping.