I really like fruit in cake, I prefer it to pie and I particularly like it when the recipe is so easy you can make it in your sleep. I appreciate that I can make it with ingredients readily available in your pantry and that you can adapt it to any fruit you want. The origin of the recipe is a Russian Apple Sharlotka, but I do find similarity to a Swiss Apfelkuchen or Zwetschkenkuchen (Plum pie). Plums in cake or pie always remind me of back home and fall. This time I combined some ripe pears and added plums for colour and a bit of tartness. It turned out beautifully – so much so that people wanted seconds and I had more for breakfast.
Pear and Plum Sharlotka (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
- Butter or nonstick spray, for greasing pan
- 6 large pears pealed and a handful of pitted prune plums
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
- Powdered sugar, to finish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the paper and the sides of the pan. Peel, halve and core your pears and pit your plums, then cut the pears into medium-sized pieces. (The nicer you cut the pieces the nicer the slices will look.) Pile the fruit directly in the prepared pan.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using whisk, beat eggs with sugar until thick and ribbons form on the surface of the beaten eggs. Beat in vanilla, then stir in flour with a spoon until just combined. The batter will be very thick.
Pour over fruit in pan, using a spoon or spatula to spread the batter so that it covers all exposed fruit. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out free of batter. Cool in pan for 10 minutes on rack, then flip out onto another rack, peel off the parchment paper, and flip it back onto a serving platter.
Serve warm or cooled, dusted with powdered sugar.