Sunday, 8 November 2015

Oat and pear traybake with pecan crumble topping

I’m such a cliché but the first whiff of winter and I’m cracking open the spice jars like nobody’s business!  I found the recipe for the oat sponge and crumble topping on a recipe sharing website and decided that it needed an extra element.  Oats, spice and pecans led me to the very easy decision to add some pear to the mix.  Pear is one of my absolute favourite fruits to bake with.

The pear is fruity and juicy and stops the sponge being too dry or heavy.  The nutty crumble topping adds texture and richness; the dark sugar seeps into the cak almost like a sauce.  I served the cake at room temperature with a cup of tea but it would work so well warm with ice cream or custard.  You could even bake it in individual pudding moulds for a fancy dessert (but reduce the cooking time accordingly).

Adding fruit to a batter always increases the wetness during baking so it’s worth draining the tinned fruit and patting it dry with kitchen paper.  I think that without the addition of the fruit the sponge may have been a bit dry; the juice was absorbed by the oats making an almost fragrant sponge – imagine an oaty bread pudding and you’re pretty close.  Have I mentioned how much I love baking with pears?

I suspect it won’t be an issue, but the cake keeps really well for several days.  The pear keeps the cake soft, and the nuts in the crumble topping improve with age (unlike the baker!).

I took a photo of a slice and went for my obligatory ‘fork shot’.  Then I went for another...and another....and it ended up like this:

NB.  The crumbs were left on the plate for artistic purposes and were polished off the moment I put the camera down!  Waste not, want not etc.......


For the cake:
100g porridge oats
330ml boiling water
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
220g dark brown soft sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
215g plain flour
1 tin diced pears – the tin was 410g with a drained weight of 225g

For the crumble:
100g dark brown soft sugar
10g plain flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
40g unsalted butter – cold
100g pecan nuts – roughly chopped


Preheat the oven to 190C/ fan oven 170C/ 375F/ gas mark 5.

Grease a 30cm x 20cm traybake tin.

Cover the oats with the boiling water and put to one side.

Now make the crumble topping: Mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Rub in the butter until you have lumpy crumbs.
Stir in the chopped pecans.

Place in the fridge until needed; a cold crumble is always easier to scatter over the top as your hands won’t melt the butter as much.

Now return to making the cake: Beat the butter and sugar until soft and well combined – it will never go fluffy and whippy when you’re using dark sugar.

Beat in the eggs, vanilla and cinnamon.

Fold in the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and plain flower.

If there is any, drain any unabsorbed liquid away from the oats and fold them into the mix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin. 

Drain the pears and pat them dry with some kitchen paper.

Scatter the diced pears over the batter and gently press down into the batter.

Sprinkle the chilled crumble over the top of the batter.

Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin before de-tinning and storing in an airtight container.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Kate@whatkatebaked said...

As i write this the sky is the greyest of grey, a steady drizzle has been occurring since the second we woke up- this pudding is perfect comfort fodder for such Autumnal days!

Stuart Vettese said...

It's sort of inbetween a traybake and a pudding isn't it? Looks absolutely heavenly CC x

Baking Addict said...

So lovely and autumnal. Yum!

Lisa Marie said...

CC, we have some gorgeous fresh pears here in Washington state. Would the same amount of fresh pear work in this, do you think? Or would the moisture content throw things off?

Angie Schneider said...

Such a comforting and delicious treat! We are huge fans of anything streusel, so this is a perfect dessert for us and of course with a pot of freshly brewed tea.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Lisa Marie

I think fresh pears would work just fine; personally, I wouldn't change the quantity but make sure you pat them dry with some kitchen paper first

Happy baking

Snowy said...

I love cooking with pears too, and it just so happens that I have a tin to use up! Just the recipe for this weather. It looks delicious.

Kate Glutenfreealchemist said...

Oat, Pecan AND Pear? Yes please! Sounds so moist and delicious! I love pear in cakes too.... They do add something extra special!

Choclette Blogger said...

You had me at oaty bread pudding!

Sammie said...

I am drooling as I read this. I absolutely love pears in cake and given the nutty topping, literally sent me over the edge! 100% deliciousness. Sammie

Jo said...

Ooh oat, pecan and pear. Mmmmmm, lovely and wintery. I'd definitely love that with custard/ You know what, I'm not even sure I've ever baked with pear! What an embarrassing realisation as I love baking with fruit!