Caramelized Pear Upside-Down Cake

As the seasons begin to change and the winter weather rolls in over our small mountain town, things begin to quiet down. It’s the perfect time of year to try new recipes. This is a fun spinoff of the very classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe we all know so well. It’s perfect for this time of year. This cake is delicious warm or at room temperature. It’s tasty with ice cream or dessert wine. While I baked this as a dessert, it would be a wonderful addition to any breakfast table or brunch potluck.

We also need to give a big shout out to the baker and original recipe maker. This recipe was found and made based on the original recipe found here:

What you will need:

Softened unsalted butter for the pan

For the Topping:

2 medium firm-ripe Bosc pears (about 1 lb.)
Recipe for Basic Caramel
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

For the Cake:

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
8 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of toasted walnuts

Your Process:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×2 inch round cake pan (don’t use a springform pan, as the caramel might leak out during baking. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment and butter the top of the paper.

Make the topping. Peel, core, and cut the pears lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Arrange the pear slices on the bottom of the pan in a circle around the edge overlapping them slightly. The pear slices often don’t reach all the way to the center of the pan. I cut a small heart out of one of the pears to fill the space. You can opt to cut the slices off on the pointed end to make the fit better. Sprinkle toasted walnuts on top of pears.

Make the Basic Caramel recipe according to the directions. Immediately remove the caramel from heat and whisk in the 4 Tbs. of butter one piece at a time, until they are completely melted. Carefully pour the hot caramel evenly over the pears and walnuts.

Make the cake batter. Sift the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and salt into a medium bowl. Stir to combine. In a small bowl, stir together the milk and vanilla.

With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Set speed to medium and slowly add the brown sugar. Increase the speed to high and continue to mix until lightened in texture, 2-3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Reduce the speed to low and alternate adding the flour mixture and milk mixture in five additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Miz each additional just enough to incorporate. Overmixing will lead to a tougher cake. Scrape down the sides of the bowl one last time and mix briefly to blend well.

Bake the cake. Spoon the batter in large dollops over the pears and smooth it into an even layer with an offset spatula. Bake the cake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Turn a cake plate upside down on top of the cake pan and, using pot holders, carefully invert the cake pan onto the plate.

Bon appetite! Innkeeper Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast


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