Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Golden Pear Cake

The other morning once of my daughters was looking at the October issue of the magazine, "Traditional Home". We were sitting around the table eating breakfast when she casually mentioned, "Golden Pear Cake". Since my box of pears is ripening up very nicely, it caught my attention. After hearing her description, I told her to please mark where the recipe was; and in my mind I knew I should make it that afternoon.

This cake is an upside down cake made in a cast iron skillet. It turned out perfectly, and was delicious. The recipe recommends serving it with 1 cup of whipping cream mixed with a tablespoon of pear brandy and 2 tsp. sugar. I didn't have any pear brandy on hand, so we opted to serve it with regular whipped cream or ice cream. We decided that the cake part seemed to be more like a shortcake than a traditional cake. Everyone gave it a thumbs up, and consequently, this recipe will now be forever in my recipe box.

Golden Pear Cake

3/4 cup butter, softened (divided)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 medium or 3 large pears (1 1/2 pounds), cored, peeled, and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Place 1/4 cup butter in 9 or 10-inch cast-iron or other oven-proof skillet. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar. Cook and stir until sugar is melted and bubbly; remove from heat. Set aside; cool. (or, make brown sugar-butter mixture in saucepan; pour into 9-inch round cake pan, spreading evenly, and allow to cool.) Arrange pear slices in skillet or pan.

In small bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In large bowl beat remaining 1/2 cup butter with mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in granulated sugar until combined. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. (Batter may appear curdles.) Spread batter evenly over pears.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 5 minutes. Loosen cake from pan; invert onto plate. Serves 8 to 10.

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