Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake

Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake

Cozy spices make this Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake as comforting as can be, and the poached pears are irresistible.

Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cane syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced (1 teaspoon zest and 1 tablespoon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 7 halves Cider-Poached Pears (recipe follows)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup whole milk, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour. Line bottom with parchment paper; do not spray again.
  2. In a medium stainless-steel skillet, melt ½ cup butter over medium heat; stir in brown sugar, cane syrup, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Bring to a simmer; cook until sugar is melted and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Slowly pour in orange juice, whisk until combined and smooth. Place Cider-Poached Pears, cut side up, in skillet. Simmer over medium heat, turning frequently, until pears begin to turn golden and caramel thickens, about 10 minutes. Arrange pears, cut side down, in prepared cake pan; pour caramel over pears.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat remaining ½ cup butter, granulated sugar, orange zest, and vanilla with a mixer at medium speed until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, remaining ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Spread batter onto pears in pan.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around sides of cake to loosen; carefully invert cake onto a serving plate, removing parchment. Let cool completely

Cider-Poached Pears
Makes 8 pear halves
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 slices orange peel
  • ⅓ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cane syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 small Bosc pears, peeled, halved, cored, and stems removed
  1. In a large pot, bring apple cider, orange peel, orange juice, brown sugar, cane syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer. Add pears, and cook until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove from poaching liquid, and let drain on paper towels.
To make spiced cider syrup for ice cream or cocktails, reserve pear poaching liquid,
removing orange peel. In a small stainless-steel skillet, bring poaching liquid to a
boil until reduced, syrupy, and coats back of a spoon, 20 to 25 minutes.




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