A moist buttery cake with caramelized pears. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temp so the batter comes together quickly and easily.
The cake has three layers: buttery caramel,
thinly sliced pears,
and fluffy cake batter.
I ended up using about 1.5 pears, very thinly sliced. You can take your time to layer them or just throw them on, it will taste the same either way! I really like removable bottom cake pans for applications like this, because it’s so easy to remove and invert without messing up the pretty pear pattern, but any cake pan with high sides that’s well greased should be fine. I was quite happy with the texture of this cake, hope you enjoy it as well!
Pear Upside Down Cake Recipe
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon butter
Butter or nonstick spray for pan
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons coarse yellow cornmeal or polenta
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 medium pears (about 1 pound), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, separated cold and then left to come to room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 10-inch cake pan with removable bottom with aluminum foil, and grease with butter or nonstick spray.
2. For caramel: Stir sugar and water in a saucepan or saute pan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high. Boil syrup without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until sugar turns dark amber, 8–10 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add 1 tablespoon butter (caramel will bubble vigorously) and whisk until smooth. Pour caramel into prepared cake pan and swirl to coat bottom. Caramel will harden. Arrange pear slices over top.
3. For cake: Mix sugar, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl or stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping bowl. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
4. Using clean, dry beaters, beat egg whites on low speed in a medium bowl until frothy. Increase the speed to medium and continue to beat until whites form soft peaks. Fold about 1/4 of the whites into cake batter. Add in remaining whites; gently fold just to blend. Pour batter over pears in pan; smooth top.
5. Bake cake, rotating pan halfway through, until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with a few small moist crumbs attached, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove pan bottom with cake, and peel down the sides of the foil. Place a plate on top of the cake, and invert. Carefully remove foil.
6. Slice and serve cake warm or at room temperature, with ice cream if desired.
Recipe adapted from www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pear-upside-down-cakeby