This is an easy cake dedicated to others, like myself who equally have trouble deciding on whether to have dessert or the cheeseboard at the end of the meal. Of course I sometimes have both (chocolate is usually involved) and this is just a tasty option and can be eaten as sweet or savoury, with cream or chutney and is pretty inexpensive in fairness. It can be frozen too, which is an added bonus if you want to get ahead when planning a dinner party / Christmas meal. Plate it up with a selection of cheeses and chutneys, or just serve as is. I’ve used Cooleeney Gleann Óir Goats Cheese, which is delicate and mild, as I wanted to prove to a few ‘nameless’ individuals that goats cheese can be beautiful, but try any crumbly cheese of your choice, I’ve used Cashel Blue in the past and it was fantastic. Not a spice or seasoning involved here either, as the natural sweetness of the fruits, with the almonds, walnuts plus an excellent Artisan Irish cheese needs no fusspot cooking. Clean, natural flavours. Simple.
2 medium size cooking apples
1 large under-ripe pear
1 oz/25g whole shelled almonds
1oz/25g whole walnuts
75g/3oz light muscovado sugar
175g/6oz self-raising white flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 medium free-range eggs
90ml/3 fl oz rapeseed oil
225g/8oz Gleann Óir Goats Cheese
Preheat oven to 180C
Grease a loose bottom cheesecake tin or flan tin.
Finely chop or (or use a food processor) the walnuts and almonds with the cheese.
Turn into a large bowl adding the sultanas and sugar.
Sieve the flour and baking powder.
Peel and core the apples and pear and finely slice.
Add these to the bowl of fruit, sugar, nuts and cheese.
Mix the oil with the eggs, adding the sifted flour and baking powder to make a semi-batter.
Add the batter to the dry ingredients in the bowl mixing very well.
Turn into the tin smoothing into the edges and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
Cover with brown paper for the last 20 minutes if you think the top is browning too fast.
Let it go cold in the tin before turning out and wrapping if you want to freeze it and it’s best served slightly warm drizzled with melted butter or sprinkled with icing sugar, or both!