Cranberry Pear Upside Down Cake


Food52 is a wonderful blog, it’s the brain child of Amanda Hesser and Merrill Staub. They hold a weekly contest for recipes in unusual categories. I have yet to “win” but I keep trying in vain. I did get an official review on one recipe (finally) for my favorite curried apples (so perhaps I’ll get a winning nod soon).

The “Your Best Non-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert” contest held real appeal for me because I am not crazy for pie; I like tarts.

As you may well know, we here at flavorista like our sweets. There are a few upside down cakes and clafoutis already posted. This recipe is not quite as down homey as the others but VERY appropriate for any holiday or just some weekend baking.

The difference between this recipe and others that we have posted is that it has a basic genoise cake on top. I highly recommend that you use a spring form pan and line the bottom with parchment before adding the fruit.

If you happen to be attending a potluck and feel the need to “do something different” this cake will be welcomed by all. I used fresh cranberries but dried would also go well.

Pear-Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

For the Fruit:
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 to 4 medium, ripe pears, peeled, quartered, cored and either diced or sliced into long slivers
2 Tbsp. juice from an orange, or any variety tangerine
1/3 cup fresh or dried cranberries

Melt the butter in a heavy sauce pan then add the brown sugar. Pour into a 9 inch spring form pan lined with parchment paper on the bottom.

Toss the pear with the orange juice. Scatter the cranberries on top of the butter-sugar syrup and then layer the pears on top. Now make the cake batter.

Genoise Cake Batter
2 Tbsp. butter
4 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. Massey’s Vanilla Bean paste (a  Flavorista fave!)
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup sifted cake flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt until they triple in volume – this takes about 4 minutes.

Fold theflour into the mixture 1/3 at  a time. Pour about 1 cup of this batter into the butter and fold. Return this butter portion into the main batter and fold until just combined. Try and do this as quickly and delicately as possible. You don’t want to loose any volume.

Pour the batter over the fruit and spread evenly. Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing the springform and inverting onto a cake plate. Remove the parchment carefully.

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