This cake is lovely and moist due to the fruit. It will also keep in an air-tight container for between 2 and 3 days. The addition of semolina in a North African twist that is often used as an alternative to ground almonds and yields the cake a pleasantly crumbly texture.
This cake can be served warm or cold and is delicious with coffee.
Apple, Pear and Hazelnut Cake
175g (6 oz) small pears, cored and sliced
75g (2 3/4 oz) red apple, cored and sliced
juice of 1/2 lemon
125g (4 1/2 oz) butter or margarine
150g (5 1/2 oz) soft light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
40g (1 1/2 oz) semolina
75ml skimmed milk
25g (1 oz) hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp icing sugar (for dusting)
Mix together the pear and apple slices with the lemon juice in a bowl (this will prevent the fruit from turning brown).
In a large bowl cream together the butter or margarine with the sugar until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla extract then mix in the eggs a little at a time, beating thoroughly to combine after each addition.
Sift together the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl then gently fold into the
liquid ingredients along with the semolina and milk. Mix the batter until you have a smooth dropping consistency.
Line a 20cm diameter cake tin with greaseproof (waxed) paper and grease lightly with butter. Turn the cake batter into this then scatter over the apple and pear slices and the hazelnuts. Drizzle over any leftover lemon juice then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 160ºC (325ºF, Gas Mark 3) and bake for between 70 and 80 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake emerges cleanly.
Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack. Dust the top with icing sugar and either serve hot or cold.