I found this recipe in the pages of a Woman's Weekly magazine when I was about 16. I use pears in this recipe - but apples work well too. This is one of Peter's favorites, and quick and easy to make (Jane).
Russian Pear Cake
The pears and the lemon rind are the key ingredients here.
5 oz. butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 1/2 cups of plain flour (you could use half plain and half whole meal flour but add an extra tablespoon of milk if you do as the mixture will be drier)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoons of milk
2 pears - I like Bartlett pears
1. Cream butter with sugar and lemon rind until soft and fluffy.
2. Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
3. Fold in flour and baking powder and add milk to give a soft dropping consistency. Spoon into prepared cake tin.
4. Peel pear. Cut into quarters. Remove seeds and slice each quarter long ways into 3 equal size pieces. Place slices on top of cake.
5. Bake in center of oven pre-heated to 350 degrees F and cook for about 50 - 60 minutes.
I love cakes with fruit. Using fruit in season is always best. This cake also works with Granny Smith apples. You'll need 2 - 3 apples depending on their size.
The original recipe calls for a glaze to be brushed over warm cake. I'll do this for a special occasion but the cake is great without it.
Glaze: dissolve 1 teaspoon of gelatin in 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Stir in 2 tablespoons of apricot jam and brush glaze onto warm cake.