Beautifully fluffy cake with a crisp sugar crust on top and a soft, moist fruit filling.
Caramelising the apples and pears before adding them to the batter gives this cake a huge hit of flavour, plus the rich taste of wholemeal flour, muscovado sugar and a hint of nutmeg bring it all together for perfect autumn fare.
Makes 1 x 23cm / 9″ cake
Preparation: 30 minutes
Baking: about 60 minutes
For the fruit
30g (2 Tbsp) muscovado sugar
30g (2 Tbsp) butter
2 medium (approx 300g / 10oz) apples (I used firm Golden Delicious)
2 medium (approx 300g / 10oz) firm pears
For the batter
200g (1 cup, lightly packed) dark brown (muscovado) sugar
150g (1 1/3 sticks or 2/3 cup) butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
240g (2 cups, spooned and scraped) wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
pinch of ground nutmeg, to taste
30g (2 Tbsp) raw sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 160°C / 325°F / Gas Mark 3, and butter a 23cm / 9″ cake tin.
Peel, core and dice the apples and pears into pieces about 1.5cm or about half an inch. Heat 2 Tbsp muscovado sugar and 2 Tbsp butter in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar melts. Add apples and pears, then toss frequently as they cook for 5 minutes. Set the pan aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat in well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add to the butter mixture and stir together until well combined – the batter will be thick.
Stir in the apples and pears and caramel sauce from the pan, then scrape into the cake tin. Smooth the top with a spatula and then sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake in centre of oven for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes put clean.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.