Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Warm Pear-Ginger Upside Down Cake

I'm sure that by now you've already planned your Thanksgiving desserts, bought all the ingredients, and have started prepping (no?), but just in case you're still looking for a fabulous dessert, here it is.  When I bought The Pastry Queen Christmas last year, this was one of the first recipes that I marked to save.  I actually never got around to making it last Christmas, but this year I was determined to do it.  The original recipe calls for you to serve it with Amaretto Whipped Cream, which I think would be really good, but one of our dinner guests is pregnant, and rather than make a seperate batch of whipped cream, I just made plain whipped cream.  Which was still super delicious.  However, when I warmed up the last piece yesterday for Joey and I to split, I spiked the whipped cream with a little bourbon - and yeah, that was good too ;-).

I prepped this cake before our friends arrived, then as we sat down to dinner, I popped it in the oven.  It cooks for close to an hour, so its perfect timing to sit down to eat, have a few minutes for your food to settle, then start in on dessert.  I realize this may not be ideal for traveling, since its best served warm, but I think you could just pop it in the oven for a few minutes to heat it up before serving.  I also reheated individual slices in the microwave for 20 seconds and it was perfect.

The best part of this cake is most definitely the edges - I loved the caramelized sugar and ginger, and the sweet pears were such a great addition.  When I asked Joey what his favorite part of our Spainsgiving meal was, he chose this dessert.  Which says a lot, because he's not really a fruit person or a dessert person. 

Other holiday dessert ideas:
Apple Spice Layer Cake with Caramel-Swirl Icing
Pralined Pumpkin Cheesecake
Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie
Cinnamon Cupcakes with Pumpkin Icing
Pear Maple Cobblers
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving!!

Warm Pear Ginger Upside-Down Cake
The Pastry Queen Christmas by Rebecca Rather

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2-3 ripe but firm pears, such as Bartlett or Anjou
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs finely chopped candied ginger
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the butter and brown sugar in a 9 inch cake pan and cook in the oven about 10 minutes, or until it is melted and bubbly.  Meanwhile, core the pears and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Remove the pan from the oven and arrange the pears on top of the mixture in a circular pattern.  Don't worry if you end up with a second layer of pears. Sprinkle the candied ginger evenly over the pears.

To make the cake:  Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add the flour mixture in 3 increments, alternating with the milk, starting and ending with the flour.  Beat on low speed between each addition. 

Stir in the ginger and pour the batter evenly over the pears, using a spatula to smooth the top.  Bake 40-55 minutes, until the cake is cooked through and light golden-brown.  Insert a toothpick into the center to test for doneness. 

Remove from the oven and immediately invert onto a large cake plate.  Allow to cool about 15 minutes.  Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


the blissful baker said...

mm that is such a beautiful cake, great flavors!

Peggy said...

This is such a gorgeous cake! Great post! And love that you spiked your whipped cream with bourbon! Definitely a fan of that!

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