I ate a beautiful cinnamon and pear cake in a friend's house a few months ago, and it got me thinking. I love the method of cooking the fruit direct in the tin, and topping with the pastry, it appeals to my lazy nature. I went through a phase last year of making tarte tatins, and caramelised onion pies (when I had only one child and time on my hands), but had never tried it with a sponge.
So for this one I put a circular cake tin straight on the hob, melted butter, sugar and a little vanilla essence, let this caramelise, added banana slices.
I made a sponge mixture, 2 eggs (weighed with shells on), the same weight of creamed butter and sugar, beat in the eggs, and folded in the same weight of self-raising flour, added a load of ground cinnamon.
I poured the sponge mix onto the banana-caramel sauce in the tin and cooked it in the oven at 180'C for about 15 minutes.
This turned out fantastic. The smell of it baking was worth the effort, fuggy and spicy and comforting beyond belief. It was moist and very sweet, would be good with natural yoghurt to cut the sweetness, but we had none, so devoured it as it was. It would keep up to 5 days or so in the fridge, and I'd blitz it for 30 sec in the microwave each time to warm it slightly. That's if you can have it hanging around 5 days. We can't.
Barry's not a cake fan, so happily I usually get to eat most of my baking, aided by two little boys and the odd visitor. I will now freeze half of the goods, as I realised my weekly butter intake was probably reaching a pound for me alone. Not that I have a problem with it, and at least it's pure butter, not full of god-knows-whats, but still...
So try this, use whatever fruit you have, pear, apple, banana, it would all work. You could use ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, mixed spice etc. It freezes well and impresses visitors, though it probably takes 10 mins max effort. Well worth a go.
Happy belated Thanksgiving to all my US readers, hope it was a good one!