Lisa was right.
She and I have been subscribing to the same fruit CSA (Frog Hollow Farms CSA) since early September. Each week, with our 5 pound box of perfectly ripe, organic and local fruit, we receive a recipe for a delightful dessert using the fruit. I tend to avoid these, since goodness knows I don’t need that extra butter and sugar disguised with fruit.
Lisa told me about the Pear Upside Down Cake from the October 5th newsletter. I pooh-pooh’d her, explaining my reasoning for not making desserts with the fruit. What a mistake.
Fortunately, last week, I had the chance to undo that mistake. I made the Pear Upside Down Cake with Warren and Bosc pears, and not only was the cake easy, it was a huge success. I highly recommend it. And I am sorry I doubted Lisa.
Pear-Almond Upside Cake
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large pears, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4″ slices (I used about 4-5 small/medium pears)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional, i.e. I did not have it, so if you don’t, don’t panic)
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup finely ground almonds (I used toasted sliced almonds from Trader Joes that I whirled with my immersion blender)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch of ground cloves
Preheat oven to 375F. Heat 3 Tablespoons butter and brown sugar in a 10″ cast iron or ovenproof skillet over medium heat until sugar is melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Arrange pear slices in overlapping, concentric circles over the sugar.
Cream 1/2 cup butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in nuts, then add flour, baking powder, salt, and cloves. Spoon batter evenly over fruit.
Bake until top of cake is golden and springy when pressed, 35-40 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then loosen edges with a butter knife. Place a cake plate over the top of the pan, grasp plate and pan tightly, and flip over. Ease pan off cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.