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Upside Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

By 8:21 AM , ,

A friend/co-worker of the Husband brought us huge bags of apples and pears. Besides enjoying them as is, I wanted to make some things using apples and pears.  So I combed food blogs and websites and now I have a large favorites folder of both sweet and savory ways to use apples and pears. One of the the recipes I came across was this one on Epicurious.

I love gingerbread and I was intrigued by the pairing of gingerbread with pear.  I also had never made an upside down cake before, so I knew I wanted to try this.
Though this cake has a few more steps than a normal cake, I found it very easy to make and a cast iron pan was the perfect cooking vessel.

We loved this cake! It was rich, warming, comforting - you get the picture. And though rich, it also would work as a brunch cake - great with coffee.

The pear and gingerbread were wonderful together.  The cake was moist (some of that probably due to the fact that I also pulled the cake out at 38 minutes - dry cake is a HUGE pet peeve of mine!) and the top that had caramelized had a delicious, addicting crunch.

Upside Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

For Topping:
2 1/2 firm pears (preferably Bosc)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

For Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup molasses (preferably mild)
1 cup boiling water
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Special equipment: a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a 12-inch deep nonstick skillet (handle wrapped with a double layer of foil if not ovenproof)

Make topping:

Peel and core pears and cut each into 8 wedges.

Melt butter in skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides. Reduce heat to low, then sprinkle brown sugar over bottom of skillet and cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes (not all sugar will be melted). Arrange pears decoratively over sugar and cook, undisturbed, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Make cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together molasses and boiling water in a small bowl. Beat together butter, brown sugar, and egg in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes, then alternately mix in flour mixture and molasses in 3 batches at low speed until smooth.

Pour batter over topping in skillet, spreading evenly and being careful not to disturb pears, and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.

Cool cake in skillet on a rack 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of skillet, then invert a large plate with a lip over skillet and, using pot holders to hold skillet and plate tightly together, invert cake onto plate. Replace any pears that stick to skillet. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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3 comments

  1. Hey kitchen goddess! Just stopped by for a slice of pear gingerbread cake, a cup of coffee, and a wee favor...

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  2. Thanks Squeaky Peanut & Mad Men Girl! Btw, MMG - went online & voted for you. Good luck!

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