This recipe is taken from:
“The Kitchen Diaries” (Nigel Slater)
It was a super day today up until about half an hour ago. Suddenly the sky has turned grey and cloudy, and the two enormous pine trees outside my window are waving around like crazy. There’s a storm coming, and that means only one thing – an excuse for tea and cake! And all the better if it’s an emergency cake like this that takes, ooh, about 7 minutes to put together before shoving in the oven (and that’s if you bother to do the fiddly bit and line the tin).
I went out especially to buy the ingredients for this cake, but as the recipe points out, all it consists of is a basic cake with equal fat, sugar and flour, topped with any fruit that takes your fancy. The cake underneath rises around the softened fruit, so that you get a tender crumb, made moist by the fruit juices encased in a firmer golden crust around the edges. I had an inspiration – after doing the shopping of course – that blackberry and apple would be gorgeous here, perhaps with a streusel topping sprinkled over too a la Delia Smith – but I’ll just have to wait for the next rainy day to try out that idea! Meanwhile, I’ve got a cuppa to make…
130g butter, at room temp
130g caster sugar
2 eggs, at room temp
130g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ripe pears
A smallish cake tin – 21cm round, or 21-23cm square, lined on the bottom.
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Cream the butter and sugar together. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork, and gradually mix them in with the butter and sugar. Sift the flour and baking powder into that bowl and fold in carefully. Spoon into the cake tin and flatten down.
Peel and cube the pears, and mix with the blueberries. Put these on top of the cake mixture, and sprinkle a little more sugar on top. If you care about aesthetics more than I do, try to get a nice even layer of fruit so that the cake rises evenly underneath it, rather than in the little golden hillocks of bare cake I had where I forgot to distribute the blueberries.
Bake for 1 hour, until a skewer comes out clean, leave in the tin for 10 minutes, and then cool on a rack. Oh, who am I kidding – eat it warm with a jug of cream, custard or vanilla ice-cream, ignoring completely your mum’s warning about the effect of hot cake on the tummy.