Pears and hazelnuts make an excellent match: theirs is a classic combination that I always come back to, in pavlovas, tarts, crumbles and cakes. Today it’s a pear and hazelnut crumble-cake hybrid for which you make an oat crumble (be warned: it’s extremely moreish on its own) that you scatter on top before baking.
Pear and hazelnut crumble cake
Prep 30 min
Cook 1 hr 30 min +
For the crumble
50g wholemeal flour
50g giant oats
40g dark brown sugar
20g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
80g cold unsalted butter, cubed
For the cake batter
125g unsalted butter, softened
125ml rapeseed oil or other neutral oil
200g caster sugar
Zest of ½ lemon
A pinch of salt
150g plain flour
100g wholemeal flour
2½ tsp baking powder
300g pears, peeled, cored and chopped into 2-3cm cubes
Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4, and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
For the crumble, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add the cold cubed butter and, using the tips of your fingers, rub together until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Tip this mixture on to the lined tray and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown all over. Leave to cool slightly, then break into a crumbly mix and set aside while you make the cake batter.
Line the base and sides of a 20cm cake tin with baking papers. In a large bowl with a wooden spoon, or in a stand mixer with the paddle attached, combine the butter, oil and sugar for five to seven minutes, until smooth and pale. Add the lemon zest and salt, mix again, then beat in the eggs one by one. In a second bowl, mix the flours and baking powder, then add to the cake batter.
Stir the chopped pears through the batter, then pour into the prepared tin and top generously with the crumble mix. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes to an hour and 10 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and serve with creme fraiche, pouring cream or custard.