Baking has never been my strength, maybe it’s because I have a very hard time following directions when I am cooking. When it comes to pastries, where following a recipe is the key to a good dish, I leave that job to the experts, but I do alright with cakes like this one
I had some pears sitting on my counter for a couple days and I didn’t know what to make with them. I wanted something simple and easy, so a pear upside down cake came to mind and I absolutely loved it. I have to confess, I liked the banana upside down cake that I made before better than this pear one, but this is a delicious variation too.
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 pears, peeled and sliced
9 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly butter the sides of a cake pan.
- To make the topping: Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and sugar, cook stirring occasionally, until it’s browned, about 5 minutes.
- Pour the butter-sugar mixture into the cake pan. Using a rubber spatula, spread the mixture out so it to covers the bottom of the pan.
- Arrange pear slices evenly. Press the slices into the butter-sugar mixture.
- To make the cake: Using a sieve over a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and mix at a low speed until just incorporated. Raise the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
- (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula.)
- Add the eggs one at time, waiting for each one to be fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture, vanilla and milk. Raise the speed to medium and mix briefly until a smooth batter is formed.
- Pour the batter over the pear layer, distributing evenly. Bake the cake, rotating the pan once during cooking, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Run a knife around the edge of the pan to release the cake. Carefully invert the cake onto a serving plate.