The weather has definitely changed over the last few weeks, and the temperature dropped considerably with Autumn setting in. My pear trees are coming to the end of this years crop, so as per usual we have ended up with a pear overload. This means pears in everything, from desserts, baking, chutneys, to even tossing a few in salads and roasting with meat dishes. Pretty versatile fruit when you think about it.
So here’s one of my favourite pear based cakes with lots of nuts, and a topping of Mascarpone cream. Great with a cup of tea or even as a dessert.
AUTUMN PEAR & NUT CAKE WITH MASCARPONE CREAM
¾ c walnuts, roughly chopped
¼ c almonds, roughly chopped
⅓ c brown sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
50 g butter
⅓ c plain flour
1 ¾ c plain flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ c canola oil
1 c raw sugar
¼ tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c sour cream
2 large ripe pears, peeled, cored, sliced & sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
½ c cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp icing sugar
250 g Mascarpone
½ c sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 170°C (fanbake). Grease and line a 24cm spring form cake tin or for smaller cakes use 5 – 6 10cm spring form cake tins.
Combine the nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Rub the butter into ⅓ cup flour then combine with ¾ c of the nut mixture to make the nut topping, set aside.
Sift together the 1¾ cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl whisk together oil, raw sugar, vanilla and eggs. Fold the sour cream into the oil mixture, then fold into the dry ingredients to make a thick batter.
Spread half the batter into the base of the prepared tin or tins. Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture. Lay sliced pears in an even layer over top of the nut mixture. Gently spread the remaining batter over pears, then sprinkle with the nut topping.
Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the tin on a rack for 10 -15 mins before removing.
To Serve- Add cream, vanilla essence, and icing sugar to a small bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Fold in the Mascarpone and spread evenly on the top of the cake(s), finishing with a sprinkle of sliced almonds.
Serves 6 - 8
All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2019