I was craving something sweet...but not cookies...coffee cake or banana bread were what I was thinking, but when I spied the hazelnuts and dried cherries in the cupboard, and the two ripe pears, this recipe evolved. The hazelnuts and cherries were bought for a recipe that I had wanted to try, but I honestly couldn't remember what, so I used some of them for this. The pears were perfectly ripe and needed to be used, because as everyone knows, pears are perfect one day and overripe the next!
Start off by turning the oven on to 350F and greasing a bundt pan.
In a food processor, combine:
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Process until the nuts are fine.
1/2 cup dried sour cherries
Process briefly, until the cherries are chopped into smaller pieces.
3 tablespoons room temperature butter
Process by pulsing until the butter is combined with the other ingredients and you have a slightly sticky, crumbly mixture.
Set aside until needed.
Cream until light and fluffy:
1 cup soft butter
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
Add, one at a time, scraping the bowl down in between additions:
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the dry ingredients:
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Add in one third, mixing until just combined.
Add half of the wet ingredients:
1 cup sour cream
Repeat these two steps once, and then add the final third of the dry ingredients.
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced
Scrape a third of the batter into the prepared bundt pan, and spread evenly.
Sprinkle half of the hazelnut and cherry crumble over the batter.
Repeat using a third of the batter, and then the last half of crumble and finally the last of the batter.
Bake until the cake is fully cooked, and a wooden skewer comes out clean when used to test it. This took approximately 50 minutes.
Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes, then gently loosen the sides of the cake with a butter knife, invert the pan onto a cooling rack and allow the cake to release.
The cake can be served hot or at room temperature. It is perfect with tea or coffee, can be eaten as breakfast or even as dessert, with the addition of whipped cream or ice cream.
- I used a bundt pan simply because I like the shape! This can be baked in 8" X 5" loaf pans (you will need two), a 9" X 13" pan or a 10" round springform pan.
- The cherry and hazelnut crumble can be sprinkled on the top of the batter if you are baking the cake in something other than a loaf pan; it can still be layered in these pans as well. If you are using a 9" X 13" pan you will spread half the batter, all or half of the crumble, and then repeat.
- The baked cake can be frozen. If not frozen, it will keep, well wrapped, at room temperature for about 5 days.
- Any nuts can be used; any dried fruit can be used....cranberries, raisins, dates, apricots.
- Instead of pears use apples, peaches, plums, fresh or frozen berries, rhubarb.
- Spices such as ground ginger, aniseed, five spice or nutmeg can be used with, or instead of, the cinnamon.
- I did not have 1 cup of sour cream, so I added milk to make up the cup needed. Plain yoghurt or buttermilk can also be used.
- Why not make extra crumble and store it in the freezer? It's perfect to use as a topping for muffins, other loaves such as banana bread, sprinkle on top of ice cream, or add to your next batch of scones.