Almond cake with orchard fruits

The abundance of fruits from the autumn harvest means you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to making delicious desserts

Polenta or Semolina lends a nuttiness to this cake. Eat as is or serve warm with cream or custard.

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

  • 100g/4oz butter, at room temperature
  • 100g/4oz caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 100g/4oz ground almonds
  • 100g/4oz self-raising flour
  • 25g/1oz instant polenta or semolina
  • Pinch of salt
For the topping:

  • 1 eating apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 Red Tractor pear, cored and sliced
  • 2 plums, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 50g/2oz granulated sugar
  • Icing sugar to sprinkle

Preheat the oven to 170°C, 325°F, Gas 3. Grease and line a 20cm/8in round cake tin.Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Stir in the almond extract.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ground almonds, flour, polenta or semolina and the salt. Gently fold into the creamed mixture using a large metal spoon. Pour into the prepared tin, level the surface and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the surface is firm to the touch. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes then lift the cake from the tin and cool.

For the topping, place the apple, pear, plums, water and sugar in a nonstick frying pan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring often, until the fruit begins to caramelise. Cool slightly then tip on top of the cake. Leave to cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.