Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pear Upside Down Cake



I had this book 'Fine living by Martha Stewart - Desserts' sitting on my table past soo many days. All I'd do was turn the pages, read through the recipes, drool over the pictures and set it aside. Then, on April 1st, while surfing through the food blogs, I came across Raaga's AFAM-Pears event with April 1st being the deadline! Its amazing how the human brain sometimes works... It was a stroke of inspiration,will,creativity and luck all at once for me. Reading through the AFAM-Pears event details, the picture and recipe of the Pear Upside Down cake from the above mentioned book loomed large before my eyes. It was April 1st(deadline day), I did not have some of the ingredients and there was just ONE pear in my fridge, and above all, believe me when I say I am a big flop wrt baking. Trust me to turn any simple baking into a perfect disaster. Pathetic situation, huh? but I just wanted to do it. I went ahead, and given the situation, can you imagine my joy when it turned out to be just a perfect little cake. Moist, juicy, aromatic and oh! so Yummmmm!!! Back from school, soon after entering the door, my 3 yr old son inhales deeply and exclaims... "mmmmmmm.... it smells like cookies!.....", and I did not need a crown to feel like a Queen, a Queen of Baking, i.e.,!!!
My entry made it to Raaga's AFAM-Pears event... My son and I had a wonderful treat. So, all's well that ends well, huh? I am not sure if my recipe would work if I tried again, so, here I have given both Martha Stewart's original recipe and my 'suited to availability' version of the original. :-) Pears Zindabaad!!! ciao!

-----------My Recipe-----------

Ingredients :

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 large ripe Bosc pear, peeled, cored and sliced lengthwise
1 teapoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
A Pinch ground ginger
A Pinch ground cinnamon
A Pinch ground cloves
A Pinch ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup warm milk
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Method :

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a mini loaf pan and set aside
2. In a bowl, toss pears with lemon juice. In a large skillet set over medium high heat, melt 1/2 tablespoons butter; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Add the pears, cut-sides down, in a single layer; cook until brown on bottoms, 2-3 minutes. Turn pears over, cook other cut-sides until brown, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add a little water(2-3 teaspoons) to pear juices remaining in skillet; sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar over liquid. Cook, stirring until reduced to syrup, about 1 minute. Pour into the mini loaf pan, swirl to coat. Spread out pears in single layer on the base of the pan. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt.
5. In a mixing bowl cream together butter and brown sugar, beating steadily; Beat in honey and grated ginger. Add half of flour mixture; mix well. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and 2 tablespoons boiling water; beat into batter. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until combined.
6. Pour batter into pan, evenly over the pears; bake 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake until springy to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack, 1 hour. Run a knife between cake and pan and invert onto a serving plate.




-----------Martha Stewart's Recipe-----------

Ingredients :

10 tablespoons butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
5 large ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and quartered
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons brandy
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda

Method :

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square cake pan and set aside
2. In a large bowl, toss pears with lemon juice. In a large skillet set over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Add half of the pears, cut-sides down, in a single layer; cook until brown on bottoms, 2-3 minutes. Turn pears over, cook other cut-sides until brown, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining pears.
3. Add brandy to pear juices remaining in skillet; sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar over liquid. Cook, stirring until reduced to syrup, about 1 minute. Pour into pan, swirl to coat. Starting in one corner, fan out pears in single layer; arrange tapered sides in same direction. Set pan aside.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt.
5. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream remaining 8 tablespoons butter until fluffy. add brown sugar, beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Add eggs; beat to combine. Beat in molasses and grated ginger. Add half of flour mixture; combine on low speed. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and 2 tablespoons boiling water; beat into batter. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until combined.
6. Pour batter into pan; bake 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees. bake until springy to the touch, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack, 1 hour. Run a knife between cake and pan and invert onto a serving plate.




This post goes to Raaga's AFAM-Pears event. :-)

1 comment:

Chef said...

beautiful... I wish I could grab a wedge right now.