Prep 20 minutes
Bake 1 hour
- 150g unsalted butter softened, plus extra for greasing
- 80g soft dark brown sugar, or slightly less if preferred
- 1 x 290g can pitted prunes in fruit juice (175g drained weight)
- 300g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 heaped tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 medium eggs
- 400g can of pear halves in juice (230g drained weight)
- Demerara sugar, to decorate (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC fan (190ºC/375ºF/Gas 5) and grease and line a 20cm (8in) springform cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
- Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until pale and fluffy. Drain the prunes, catching the juice in a bowl, and add the prunes to the mixing bowl. Beat again for a few moments to break up the fruit – don’t worry if it looks like it’s starting to curdle.
- Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, vanilla extract, ginger, cinnamon and eggs to the bowl, along with 80ml of the prune juice. Whisk well until a smooth batter is formed, but stop beating as soon as the mixture comes together to ensure you don’t overmix.
- Pour the batter into your prepared tin and level the top. Arrange the pear halves on top, then sprinkle over the demerara sugar, if using. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 50–60 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Check after 30 minutes and if the top is starting to brown too quickly, make a foil hat and place it over the cake tin to prevent the top of the cake from burning.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin before running a knife around the inside of the tin and removing the sides. Place the cake, with the base still attached, onto a cooling rack and set aside until it is cool enough to handle, then remove the base and serve.
- This cake is delicious slightly warm with a little drizzle of single (light) cream or custard.
Love your leftovers: Store the cake in an airtight container for 3–4 days, or freeze for 3 months, defrosting at room temperature.
This recipe is extracted from Family Comforts by Rebecca Wilson. DK, 28 September (RRP $39.99 AUD/ RRP $48 NZD).