Fisty (badlittlevixen) wrote in le_pain_depice,

Pear Upside-Down Spice Cake

I had a large sack of pears this fall, which my sister Malia had given me (she, in turn, had picked them from her neighbor's tree). At a loss for what to do with my fall bounty, I came across this recipe in Cooking Light and knew I had to try it. I am inordinately fond of upside down cakes, remembering the heady days when they'd be served at Marriot, and how I would feverishly scrape up all the bottom goo and eat it. Mmmm, goo. I haven't had one since leaving Cornell, much to my detriment. Anyways, I did this cake up and enjoyed it. The flavor was slightly flat, and I didn't care for the glaze, but on the whole it was an excellent breakfast cake. I fed it to two of my co-workers, both of whom enjoyed it immensely. They both commented that it was much less sweet than most of the desserts they were used to, but that it was very flavorful and that they could "really taste everything." So in that, i would judge it successful. I'd like to try a do-over sometime, however, but with a more traditional upside down cake bottom (top?).

Pear Upside-Down Spice Cake
3 cups sliced peeled Bosc pears (about 3 pears)
Cooking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, arrange pear slices spokelike in bottom of a 9-inch cake pan coated with cooking spray, working from the center of the pan to the edge.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 7 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a bowl.

Combine granulated sugar and 5 tablespoons butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Add flour mixture and 3/4 cup buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon batter over pears; spread evenly.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula; invert cake onto plate. Let rest 2 minutes; remove pan.

To prepare glaze, combine 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon water, and juice in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until butter melts. Stir in brown sugar; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons buttermilk. Let stand 2 minutes; pour glaze evenly over cake.

(Cooking Light, October 2006)
Tags: autumnal food, cakes, pears
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