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Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake

Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake


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Make sure the cake pan you’re using is at least 2" deep; the batter will rise to the very top while baking and will overflow in a shallow pan.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup pomegranate molasses, plus more for serving
  • 4 small ripe Bosc pears (about 1½ pounds), peeled, halved lengthwise, cored
  • 1 cup unsalted, roasted walnuts
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350˚. Butter a 10"-diameter cake pan and line bottom with a parchment paper round; flour sides of pan. Cook orange juice, ¼ cup pomegranate molasses, ¼ cup sugar, and remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Add pears, cut side up, and cook (undisturbed) until they begin to release their juices, about 3 minutes. Turn pears over and cook just until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly, then arrange pears, cut side down, in prepared pan.

  • Return skillet to medium heat and cook liquid in skillet until thickened and syrupy, about 5 minutes, depending on juiciness of pears. Pour syrup over pears and freeze while you prepare the batter (this is to allow syrup to set up—don’t let it freeze solid).

  • Pulse walnuts and remaining 1½ cups flour in food processor until walnuts are finely ground. Pulse in baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.

  • Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs, orange zest, and remaining 1½ cups sugar in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Fold in dry ingredients in 2 additions, fully incorporating before adding the next addition, then gradually mix in oil. Pour batter over pears and smooth top.

  • Set pan on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake cake until top is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in pan, 15–20 minutes. Run knife around edges of cake to loosen and invert onto rack. Remove parchment and let cake cool completely.

  • Drizzle cake with more pomegranate molasses just before serving.

  • Do Ahead: Cake can be baked 1 day ahead. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

,Photos by Christopher Testani

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 720 Fat (g) 42 Saturated Fat (g) 7 Cholesterol (mg) 100 Carbohydrates (g) 83 Dietary Fiber (g) 4 Total Sugars (g) 57 Protein (g) 8 Sodium (mg) 320Reviews SectionSo So Good! Just really wish this recipe was in weighted measurements.I made this recipe for the first time and here's what I did. No food processor so grinding the flour mix and nuts was a pain in my little blender. Used mix of walnut and pecan (70/30 ratio). Used freshly ground cardamom using a spice grinder. I added extra couple pinches of salt worrying that the cake would taste only sweet, would add more next time. Made my own pomegranate syrup the night before using another recipe with fresh pomegrates, white sugar and lemon juice (Still haven't had time to go searching stores for the syrup). My pears were slightly under-ripe (not tender but still juicy). Used some fruit juice (pineapple mix) I had in the fridge (since its only 3 tbsp for the recipe any kind of juice would be fine I think). The syrup came together really well and had a nutty flavour I really like (kinda like roasted sweet potatoes?). I recommend reducing it more than you might think (low and slow) and testing if it sets up by putting a drop on a cutting board and checking if it stiffens after a few min. Mixing the batter, I used lemon zest instead of orange, less sugar (1/2 cup less but I want to reduce it further) and 1/2 cup less oil (which was a blend of olive and canola). 1 cup of oil seemed like a lot of fat, not sure if it affects the outcome. I was skeptical of using all olive oil (I only had extra virgin). Batter came out thick and sticky. Baked for 65 min (though it could have gone another 10 no problem, I expect it would have carmelized a bit more). The edges form a bit of a crispy crust right freshly baked. The bottom didn't carmelize as much as the photo, less so in the center but still a deep colour around the edges. This part is so good! It rose a lot more than I expected in my 10 inch pan. It set up really nicely. I think if there was the full amount of oil it might feel a bit heavy, but also last longer in the fridge. Maybe 3/4 cup of oil is the perfect amount? Definitely reduce the sugar of the cake as the caramel and pears give the most sweetness. Next time I'd love to try lime zest and leaving some whole pieces of nuts on the base to caramelize with the pears. It's a hearty and beautiful cake that goes well with tea!youngbakerToronto11/14/19AMAZING!!! This nutty cake has the perfect qualities to be served with a cup of tea, and an unbelievable lightness despite the rich topping. I actually cooked my pears in advance and accidentally burned the syrup, so I redid a half recipe of the syrup and quickly thickened it with a cornstarch slurry rather than reducing it. I also used a 10 1/2" pan and still had a lot of batter leftover! Made a separate 4" cake instead after seeing reviews citing a molten centre (usually caused when pans are overfilled). I used fresh pears from the farm that were odd sizes so maybe the ratio of pear to batter was the issue. I also baked it for a total of 70 minutes before it was no longer wobbly in the centre, but this cake was well worth the wait.DELICIOUS! Such a nice cake, that only took 40 minutes to prepare! Cooked perfectly in just under an hour and went down like a treat.I didn't have some of the ingredients so I made some substitutions: cinnamon instead of cardamom, sugar and blackcurrant juice and cranberry juice instead of pomegranate nectar, ground almonds instead of blended walnuts, melted butter instead of olive oil, 2tsp baking powder and no baking soda.Everybody LOVED it and asked for it to be made again. It is so easy to eat more of this light and versatile cake, absolutely delicious. If you feel that there is oo much sauce to put into the cake tin, save it to use as a sauce for the cooked cake!after one hour of baking it appeared done. when i unmolded it from pan, it liquefied all over counter. scooped it back into pan to bake for another hour. it was delicious!linewmanBranfordn Ct01/11/19This cake is amazing. I made it with a mix of 3/4 whole wheat flour 1/4 buckwheat flour and coconut sugar instead of white sugar. It was a crowd pleaser! The only change I would make is just to add fresh whipped cream next time.AnonymousIndianapolis11/16/18This is so unbelievably sweet - half the sugar, at least. A cup of olive oil seems wholly unnecessary as well.I made this recipe, taking care to cook the pomegranate syrup down extra and let it set up before pouring the batter. At 60 minutes a toothpick came out clean but it had a little wobble to it so I left it an extra 10 minutes. After I took it out and let it cool, I was sad to find it still batter in the center! It wasn't just a little underdone-- batter came spilling out. I'm not sure what went wrong, but an internal temp recommendation would be handy.AnonymousOakland, CA01/15/18This cake is hands down one of my favorites. I can't remember what year it was, but it was on the cover of one of bon appetite's fall issues. I have made it at least 10 times since and so far anyone I have shared it with asks for the recipe. I think it takes a few tries before you can perfect it, I must say my latest attempt was my best. I'll note that chilling the pears and syrup fully is important as well as reducing the syrup enough. In the beginning I did not have access to pomegranate molasses so I subbed a reduction of pomegranate juice, which doesn't do the cake justice! Anyways, make this...make it many, many times. You will fall in love.Fallon EvensonSan Luis Obispo01/10/18

Recipe Summary

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 medium fresh pears, peeled, halved, and cored
  • ¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup full-flavored molasses
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • Chopped crystallized ginger (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. In a 10-inch cast iron or oven-going skillet melt the 1/4 cup butter over medium heat.* Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar, stirring until sugar is no longer grainy remove from heat. Arrange the pear halves, cut side up, in the skillet. Sprinkle with the 1/4 crystallized ginger set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt set side.

In a large bowl beat 2/3 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in 1/2 cup brown sugar until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in molasses and fresh ginger. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Spread the batter evenly over the pears in the skillet.

Bake about 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen cake from pan invert onto a large serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. If desired, garnish with chopped crystallized ginger. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

If you don't have a cast iron or oven-going skillet, prepare brown sugar-butter mixture in a small saucepan pour into a 2-quart rectangular baking dish, spreading evenly. Arrange pears, cut side up, in dish. Prepare cake batter as above and pour over pears. Bake in 350° F oven for 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in baking dish on wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen cake from dish and invert onto serving plate. Serve as above.


Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
    • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
    • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses, plus more for serving
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
    • 4 small ripe Bosc pears (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, halved lengthwise, cored
    • 1 cup unsalted, roasted walnuts
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
    • 1 cup olive oil

Pear Spice Upside-Down Cake

Moist, full of spices and the sweetness of maple syrup, this pear upside-down cake is too delicious to be fat-free and vegan—but it is!

I fell in love with the looks of a Pear and Almond Upside Down Cake that someone shared in one of the groups I belong to on Facebook. I loved the pattern the pears made on the top of the cake, so I decided to try to make my own version with a design somewhat in the shape of a Christmas tree…or the leaf design on a cup of soy latte.

I was a little ambivalent about the look I wanted, and I was unaware that pears are not the most accommodating art medium–they tend to move around and shrink when baked. So while my cake didn’t look exactly how I’d dreamed, all in all, I was pretty happy with its appearance. Now as for the flavor…

It was fantastic! Instead of using almonds, I decided to revamp one of my apple spice cakes to use pears. And I also ditched the refined sugar and used maple syrup instead (well, I had to supplement it with a little agave nectar because I ran out of syrup.)

My husband, who doesn’t like pears, loved it. It’s incredibly moist and has just the right touch of spiciness. Pears are a little grittier than apples, so there’s a slight hint of crunch to the texture, but I think it adds something, makes it seem almost sugary.

Between the two of us, we ate half the cake in one night, but we’re saving the rest for E, who gets home from college late tonight. So be careful: This fat-free, refined sugar-free, whole wheat upside-down cake may entice you to eat much more than you intended. Be sure to set aside a slice for someone you love.


Recipe Summary

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 ripe Bosc pears (1 lb. total)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons molasses or sorghum syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prepare the Topping: Cook butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium until butter is lightly browned and has a nutty and toasted aroma, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Immediately add brown sugar, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon, and stir until smooth.

Peel, halve, and core pears. Cut the halves from top to bottom into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices, and press gently to fan the slices. Carefully place pears on Topping in skillet. (Don&rsquot pack them in&mdashyou might have a few left over.) Set skillet aside.

Prepare the Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, cloves, and salt in a medium bowl.

Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add half of flour mixture to butter mixture beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add milk, molasses, and vanilla, and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add remaining flour mixture beat 2 minutes, stopping twice to scrape down sides of bowl. Pour batter over Topping and pears in skillet, and gently spread to edges.

Bake in preheated oven until Cake is golden brown and springs back when touched lightly in center, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in skillet on a wire rack 5 minutes.

Carefully invert warm Cake onto a serving platter. (Some pear slices might stick to the skillet gently loosen and replace on Cake.) Cool completely, about 45 minutes.


If you've never baked with frangipane before, it's time to start. The nutty mix comes together in a food processor, and no matter what nut you choose, it'll be delightful with pears. In this recipe, toasted hazelnuts meet Bosc or Anjou pears, glazed with a little apricot preserves for shine.

The best fall sangria starts with pomegranate juice, fresh ginger, red wine, and sparkling cider. Thin slices of pear sit in the mix for 4 hours you'll want to fish them out of your glass to eat every one.


Pear Upside-Down Cake (Gluten-free!)

Combine the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls until well mixed. Then slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until well incorporated.

Lightly grease an 8 or 9″ springform cake pan (we love to use coconut oil to lightly grease our bakeware) ensuring to coat the sides too. Line the bottom with your pre-cut parchment paper. Mix 1 teaspoon of each cane sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on the bottom of pan, on top of the parchment liner. Arrange thinly sliced pear on top of the sugar/cinnamon mixture and cover the whole base of the pan. Pour the batter on top of the pears and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top starts to turn golden and a toothpick, when inserted, comes out clean. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Carefully remove the springform cake pan sides. Place a serving plate on top of the cake and gently flip the cake – use oven gloves as the base will still be quite warm. Carefully remove the the base (which is now on top) and peel off the parchment liner. Top with pecans (optional), cut, serve and enjoy!


Spiced Pear Bundt Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce, from Scandinavian Gatherings

As soon as we turn the calendar page from October to November, all I can think about is baking, baking, baking. I start planning the cookies, candies, pastries, cakes, and other desserts I&rsquoll be making over the holidays two months in advance&mdashI should talk to someone about that, I know&mdashand I also begin testing new recipes to find candidates to add to the usual line-up. Not only does this make for a sweet end of year, every year, but it allows me to welcome the holidays feeling thoroughly prepared.

I turn to magazines and cookbooks for inspiration, flipping through old favorites but also looking for new titles that will spice things up. This year, a craft and cookbook filled with me joy from the moment I opened it: Scandinavian Gatherings, by Melissa Bahen, creator of the blog Lulu the Baker. I&rsquove been online friends with Melissa for years, but for some inexplicable reason, I didn&rsquot own her book until now&mdashit was released in 2016&mdashand I&rsquoll long regret those two lost years spent sans Scandinavian crafts and treats.

I&rsquove long been attracted to the Scandinavian aesthetic. I&rsquod describe it as minimalist, yet warm and cozy. Discreet, yet assertive. Whimsical, but not childish. Scandinavian Gatherings is a perfect illustration of all these qualities. Every time I open the book, I want to jump right into the tablescapes and rooms Melissa has created: the crafts are simple and doable, and look like things you want&mdashscratch that, need&mdashin your décor. The book is divided by occasion and covers spring to winter, breakfast to dinner. Each chapter contains a short and well-thought-out selection of savory and sweet recipes and handful of projects, which means you can easily decide to execute a full chapter to recreate Melissa&rsquos vision in your own home. Or you can do as I did: bookmark the whole book and go on a craft and baking frenzy!

I&rsquove made a few recipes from Scandinavian Gatherings already and they were all a hit. The Caramel Almond Sponge Cake (page 191) was so easy to make: for sure, it will be on heavy rotation at my house. I snacked on Smoked Salmon, Herbed Cream Cheese, and Baby Cucumber Open-Faced Sandwiches (page 69) on a snowy weekday and felt like a queen. There are so many more recipes I want to try&mdashthe breads look especially spectacular&mdashbut the true showpiece from Scandinavian Gatherings has to be this Spiced Pear Bundt Cake.

I haven&rsquot made many in my baking life, but I noticed that few desserts impress more than bundt cakes. Their shape is spectacular, of course, but what&rsquos best about bundt cakes is that they pack in the flavors and garnishes. This Spiced Pear Bundt Cake uses a generous amount of aromatic spices, including cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves, and is dotted with jammy bits of pear throughout. This cake is easy to whip up and makes the whole house smell heavenly for hours, a reward in itself.

You could very well serve this cake as is, or simply dusted with powdered sugar, but if you want to go all out, make the accompanying salted caramel sauce. Yes, it requires you to make caramel, but I promise it&rsquos easier than it looks. You simply have to stand by the stove for about 8 minutes while you watch sugar boil and turn amber. Once it does, you whisk in heavy cream and the remaining ingredients. This produces, in my opinion, the best dessert sauce there is&mdashyou&rsquoll want to pour it liberally over any and every cake, apple and pear pies, ice creams and gelati, and even over your morning granola. Why not? You only live once!

In Scandinavian Gatherings, Melissa made a regular caramel sauce, but I can&rsquot make caramel without salting it anymore! Salt adds such an addictive, balancing touch to desserts&mdashespecially to this caramel&mdashbut rest assured, it is optional if you prefer your caramel straight up. Melissa suggests serving whipped cream with the cake, too, and I love that idea, though I&rsquod never say no to a scoop of vanilla bean gelato either.

I&rsquom including the instructions to make crispy pear chips, which contribute to a spectacular presentation. Your guests are likely to fight over the pear chips, so you should make plenty! Making them isn&rsquot hard, but it requires a mandolin to slice the pear extra-thin, and a long baking time in a low oven, so you need to plan ahead. I suggest you go this extra mile if you serve the cake on a special night, or even for a birthday party.


Serve. Save. Enjoy.

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Recipe Summary

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 ripe pears, such as Bartlett or Anjou, peeled and cored
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Make the topping: Melt butter in the bottom of a 10 1/2-inch cast-iron skillet over low heat. Add brown sugar, stirring until dissolved. Swirl to coat the bottom remove from heat, and cool. Cut pears into 1/4-inch-thick wedges, and arrange them in a circular pattern over the brown-sugar mixture to cover completely set aside.

Make the batter: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract beat to combine. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating to combine.

Alternating with the milk, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix, on low speed, just until the flour is incorporated.

In a large bowl, beat reserved egg whites and the cream of tartar with a hand mixer until stiff but not dry. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg whites into the batter. Transfer to skillet. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter evenly, being careful not to disturb the pears.

Bake until well browned on top and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Run a knife around inside of pan, and immediately invert the cake onto a serving dish. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Watch the video: συνταγή Μακρυνιώτης (July 2022).


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