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This recipe for Caramelized Pear Upside Down Cake might be my favorite dessert recipe of all time, which is no small feat! It is simply heaven on a plate. Between the sweet-but-not-too-sweet pear flavor and the perfectly-imperfect texture of the cornmeal in the cake, it’s so good I can’t even think of anything more to say. Someday hopefully I’ll get around to updating the pictures and adding a tutorial, but for now this will just have to do!
So, without further ado, here is the recipe:
Recipe: Caramelized Pear Upside-Down Cake
Summary: Quite possibly the world’s most perfect dessert
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash nutmeg
- 3 ripe but still firm pears, thinly sliced
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (I always use the convection setting on my oven because it seems to cook more evenly.) Lightly butter the sides of a 9-inch round cake pan.
- Combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small saucepan and heat to boiling, then remove from heat. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Arrange the pears over the butter mixture and press down.
- Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until very smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt, and beat 10 seconds. Pour in the milk and beat just until the batter is evenly moistened, about 1 minute. Pour the batter over the pears, then carefully lift the pan and bang back down on the counter once or twice to release any air bubbles.
- Bake approximately 45 minutes (watch closely if using convection setting!), or until a knife comes out clean. Run a knife along the outer edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Place a plate over the cake, then flip it over to invert the cake onto the pan. Let the cake cool completely before serving. Best served the same day.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 45 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8