Pear Upside Down Cake

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
30 min
1 hr 10 min

8 servings

  • 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 pears, peeled, cored and halved
  • 1 1/2 cups pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast, shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. Turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees F.

  • Stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and corn syrup and evenly coat the bottom and sides of a 10 inch glass pie plate with the mixture. When the almonds are cool, arrange around the bottom rim of the pie plate, with a few in the center, pressing them into the brown sugar mixture. Arrange the pear halves like spokes of a wheel on top of the brown sugar mixture.

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the pastry flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and thoroughly mix.

  • In another bowl, whisk together the softened butter, sour cream, egg yolks and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer at medium speed about 1 1/2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until thick and smooth.

  • Using a spatula, spread the batter evenly over the fruit, building up the outside edges so the cake will be level when baked. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and cool 3 to 5 minutes (no longer) and then invert onto a serving plate, repositioning the fruit as necessary.

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