Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Old and faithful crumble cake...

I had a simply lovely baking day recently. We had gone to the markets, so there was plenty of fresh produce around. We had large fresh free-range eggs in abundance. There was so much autumnal fruit, with the last of the plums and plenty of pears. Simply delicious. I purchased a good amount of pears, raided the pantry and got cooking.

I whipped up the last post, some breakfast bars. And these have been getting us through the week. But some old and faithfuls were baked too. Banana bread, studded with walnuts, deliciously dark with cocoa. Baked in the oven until crisp on top and fluffy in the middle. What a great stand-by recipe. It is what I make when I simply have to cook but don't feel adventurous. The other reliable baked delicious thing that was made was a crumble cake.

Crumble cakes are versatile. Any fruit can be used. And the toppings can be changed depending on what is at hand. This weekend I was clean out of coconut after making the breakfast bars. So I simply added more oats and more brown sugar. As for the fruit, some rhubarb from the freezer was added to those firm and volumptuous pears.

Pear and Rhubarb Crumble Cake
Serves 12 or so

4 eggs

200 g sugar
200 g butter, melted
1 2/3 c plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 pear, cored and diced
handful of rhubarb, diced
crumble topping for cake
50 g butter
200 g dry ingredients - be sure to include brown sugar and flour, oats, coconut, seeds or nuts work also.
2 tsp cinnamon powder

Pre-heat oven to 170 * C. Line a large round baking tin with paper, or grease and flour to ensure the cake can be removed from the tin once cooked.

Cream together the eggs and sugar in your electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the melted butter, mixing to combine. Fold in the sifted flour and baking powder, or simply use self-raising flour and omit the rising agent. Pour into prepared cake tin. Sprinkle the fruit over the cake mixture. Any fruit can be used really. Try two apples, peeled, cored and diced. Or some pears and sultanas. Or some frozen berries. Or diced appricots. What ever you have and love.

Make the crumble topping by combining the dry ingredients and cinnamon with the butter, rubbing the butter in with your finger tips until you have soft lumps with no real wet bits of butter. Crumble this topping over the cake.

Bake in oven for around 45 minutes. This will depend on your oven and the size of your cake pan. Cover with foil after 30 minutes if the cake is browning too quickly. Test cake is cooked by inserting a squewer into the middle. If it comes out with wet cake mix on it, return to oven to cook further.

Cook on a wire rack in tin for 10 minutes before removing from tin and leaving to cool completely.

Mum's recipe originally, which I'm sure she got from somewhere. Now my own.

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