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pear ginger hazelnut crumble cake

As you may have gathered by now I love baking with fruit and nuts and I love a good crumble. If you look through the archives, there are a fair few fruity crumble topped cake recipes and here is yet another one.

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When I returned home from Japan is was pretty obvious the seasons had changed while I was out of the country. Plums, peaches and berrries had disappeared from the fruit shop and in their place were apples, pears, quince and citrus fruit.

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As the temperature had also plummeted I decided to make a pear ginger hazelnut crumble cake which I served warm as a pudding one day and cold as a cake the following day. Don't you just love a versatile recipe?

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I had most of the ingredients in the cupboard but I had to stock up on hazelnut meal and whole hazelnuts. Well that proved more challenging than I expected. I checked the local supermarket near work and there wasn't a hazelnut in sight, nor were there any in the local deli or the nut shop. I found hazelnut meal in Bondi Junction but those convenient roasted hazelnuts were nowhere to be found. I roasted what I had left in the freezer and now I'm back on the hunt for whole roasted hazelnuts. Is there some kind of hazelnut shortage in Sydney that I don't know about?

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There is nothing delicate about this cake. It's jam packed filled with stuff and whilst I made it in my 17 cm tin it took so long to bake (1½ hours) I think it's better suited to a 20 cm/8 inch tin.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C.

Pear Hazelnut Crumble Cake (makes a 20 cm/8 inch cake)

Crumble Topping 
¼ cup (55 gm) brown sugar 
¼ cup (35 gm) plain flour 
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
30 grams (1 oz) cold unsalted butter cut into small chunks
½ cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped 
35 g (2 tbs) finely chopped glace or crystallised ginger

Crumble Topping 
To make the crumble, combine the flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until just combined. Stir through the chopped nuts and ginger. Place the crumble topping in a small bowl and refrigerate while making the cake. This makes more crumble than required so you can store any leftover crumble in the freezer.

Cake
1½ cups (2 medium pears) diced peeled pear
1 (20 ml) tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup plain flour
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
¼ cup hazelnut meal
100 g (3½ oz) melted, unsalted butter
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup caster sugar
1 tbl ginger marmalade or apricot jam
1 egg
35 g (2 tbs) finely chopped glace or crystallised ginger
A few tbs milk

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (conventional). Grease and line the base of a 20 cm round tin with baking paper.

Combine 1¼ cup of the diced pear and the lemon juice in a small bowl. Set to one side for 20 minutes.

Sift the flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda into a small bowl. Stir the hazelnut meal through the flour and set to one side.

In a medium size bowl combine the melted butter, the sugars and the ginger marmalade. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add the flour and gently fold in the diced pear and juice and the finely chopped ginger. This should make a soft batter so if not then add a few tablespoons of milk. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top. Generously sprinkle the top of the cake with the crumble and stud with the remaining pieces of pear. Place the cake tin on a baking sheet to catch any drips and place on the middle shelf in the oven and bake for 50 - 60 minutes at 180°C/350°F or until the cake is cooked when tested.

If the cake is browning too quickly you may have to cover the top with a piece of greaseproof paper.

Place the tin on a wire rack and allow the cake to cool. When the cake is cool, remove it from the tin and carefully invert the cake discarding the lining paper, then turn right side up.

This can be served warm or cold. If serving warm, top with cream or custard or both.



In case you think my custard is something fancy made with egg yolks, you'd be wrong. I just love old fashioned custard made from custard powder. I used brown sugar when I made this batch and added some vanilla extract to the custard just before serving.

I hope you enjoy making this.

Bye for now,

Jillian
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