Monday, May 09, 2011

Pear Upside-Down Cake Recipe

We used William Bartlett pears that were just ripe. Very ripe pears tend to 1) disintegrate during baking, and 2) release a lot of juice, which can make the cake a bit soggy.

The cake is best eaten on the day of making.

We bake this cake in an oven with the top and bottom elements on and fan-forced function off.

We use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of our recipes.

Serves 10-12.

Preparation time: about 40 minutes (excludes baking and resting times)

100g (1/2 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
50g butter
About 520g (3 medium) just-ripe pears

Cake Batter
166ml (2/3 cup) full cream milk (about 3.6 percent fat)
10ml (2 teaspoons) lemon juice
75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
75g (1/2 cup) plain flour
70g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) almond meal (ground almonds)
110g butter, softened
165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Celsius fan-forced). Adjust the oven rack to the lower half of the oven so that the top of the cake will be in the centre (not necessary for a fan-forced oven).

Grease the base and side of a solid base 22cm diameter deep round cake pan. Line the base and side of the pan with baking paper.

If you wish to use a springform or loose-based cake pan, you will need to line the pan with a large sheet of aluminium foil to prevent caramel from leaking out of the pan during baking. We use 44cm wide aluminium foil and mould it to fit the base and side of the cake pan ensuring that we don't make any holes in the foil.
Then line the base and side of the pan with greased baking paper, placing the greased side down so the baking paper sticks to the aluminium foil. This stops the baking paper slipping around when adding the caramel, pears and cake batter.

To make the topping: Place the brown sugar and 50 grams of butter in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the mixture bubbles. Remove from the heat, pour over the base of the lined cake pan, and spread out with the back of a spoon or a heatproof spatula (it doesn't matter if the layer is a bit uneven or doesn't go right to the edge of the pan).
Peel the pears. Cut pears into quarters and remove the cores. Slice each quarter lengthways into three. We use 340 grams of pear slices. If you have much more than 340 grams, we recommend just eating the extra pear as using a lot of pear can make the cake soggy. Cover the butter/sugar mixture with a layer of pear slices.
Combine milk and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside (after about five minutes the milk will look curdled).

Place self-raising flour, plain flour and almond meal in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Use the back of the spoon to squash any lumps of almond meal.

Using an electric mixer or electric hand-held beaters, beat the butter, caster sugar and vanilla together until pale and creamy (about five minutes). Stop the machine once or twice during beating and use a spatula to scrape down the side and base of the bowl.
Add one egg and beat for about one minute. Use a spatula to scrape down the side and base of the bowl. Repeat with remaining egg (the mixture may appear curdled at this stage).
Add combined flour and almond meal to the butter mixture. Using a spatula or spoon, gently fold ingredients together until just combined.
Add milk and lemon mixture to the bowl. Stir with a spoon/spatula or beat with the mixer on very low speed until the ingredients are combined. Stop mixing as soon as the ingredients are combined as over-beating the batter may cause the cake to be tough.

Dollop the batter over the pears.
Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, gently spread batter evenly over the pears.
Bake for about 50-60 minutes. If the top of the cake starts to overbrown but the cake is not cooked through, cover with a piece of baking paper. When the cake is ready, the top should be a golden colour and the cake will spring back when lightly pressed in the centre. A thin-bladed knife or wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out without gooey batter attached.
Allow cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Invert cake onto a serving plate and serve warm or at room temperature, on its own or with cream and/or ice cream.

Best eaten on day of making. Store in an airtight container. In hot weather, or if keeping for more than a day, we store the cake in the refrigerator.



Blogger Yasmeen said...

a classic recipe - thanks for sharing!

i love thick-battered cakes. they always come out perfectly for an accompaniment to tea :)

9/5/11 1:46 pm  
Blogger Leah said...

Looks absolutely divine! Reminds me of my grandma's famous Polish apple cake, but with pears. YUMMO!

9/5/11 3:57 pm  
Anonymous Pauline said...

Just made this cake, YUM. Warm from the oven. Looked just like the picture. Thickly cut pears soak up the caramel and taste delicious. Am planning a high tea and will definitely add this to the menu.Thanks ladies for sharing this with us.

10/5/11 2:38 pm  
Blogger Meg Luby said...

i am so excited to make this! thanks so much for sharing, love you and your blog :)

11/5/11 2:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! Looks amazing... any suggestions on what i can use instead of almond meal? My partner is allergic to nuts...

12/5/11 11:51 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just made this cake, was easy to make & came out perfect!
tastes delicious too :)

15/5/11 7:09 pm  
Anonymous Wendy said...

Absolutely perfect! The caramel was such a good flavour match with the pears. I made it for a staff morning tea and there were no left overs to take home!

25/5/11 10:35 am  
Anonymous Mandy said...

This recipe is great due to the additon of the almond meal. It lightens the cake and is great for morning/afternoon tea.

In the past I've tried numerous pineapple-upside down cake recipes but have been left with a flourly after - taste in my mouth, so I stopped making them. After trying this recipe last night I will use your recipe for the cake batter as its much nicer and will now be able to enjoy pineapple-upside down cake once again.
Thanks Amanda and Debbie

26/5/11 12:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your recipes..I know I can try them and serve it to people without worrying it will fail!

can you use tin pears for this?

8/6/11 2:41 pm  
Blogger Angeleena said...

Can I substitute the pears with apples?

30/6/18 12:32 am  

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