November 17, 2011

I suggest you make this for Thanksgiving!

Warm Pear Ginger Upside-Down Cake with Amaretto Whipped Cream

(Recipe by Rebecca Rather from the cookbook The Pastry Queen Christmas- a good cookbook, by the way, with a variety of dishes, not just desserts!)

This is the perfect Thanksgiving, or anytime Autumn cake! I hope you try it for your Thanksgiving breakfast this year, or perhaps as a simple (but delightful) dessert after your Thanksgiving meal! It is one of my favorite cakes now! If you love pears, or ginger, or just coffee cakes in general, you will enjoy this treat.

Rebecca Rather says: ''Before you start this cake, make sure you have the proper pan. You'll need a 9-or-10-inch cake pan with sides that are at least 2 inches tall. (Most standard 9-inch cake pans have 1-inch sides, which will leave you with overflowing batter.)(Our family used a ceramic dish which was about 9-inch square, and taller than 2 inches! Worked well) ....This cake is surprisingly easy to make (Yes, indeed- I was able to whip it up the morning of our Mum's Birthday, without any trouble at all!) ......Best warm from the oven, it will still taste good at room temperature. (we found this true, too!) It retains its peak flavour and texture througout the day it's made.''

Serves: 6 to 8

•1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
•1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
•2 to 3 ripe but firm pears, such as Anjou or Bartlett
•2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger


•1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature (plus a tiny bit to grease sides of pan)
•1 cup granulated sugar
•2 large eggs
•1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
•1/2 cup milk
•1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger (if you like ginger, add extra here!)

Whipped Cream - recipe below


NOTE; You need a 9 or 10-inch cake pan with sides that are at least 2 inches tall. This cake is so fabulous, I would strongly consider buying a 9 by 2-inch cake pan especially for this recipe.

To make the topping: Preheat the oven to 350°F. (Grease sides of pan with a little extra butter. I think I also gave a hint of butter to the bottom of the pan, since I didn't want the carmelizing brown sugar to stick in the following part)... Put the butter and brown sugar in the cake pan and place it in the oven until melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Core the pears (no need to peel them) and cut them into 1/4-inch thick slices. Remove the pan from the oven, stir to combine the butter and sugar, and arrange the pears on top of the mixture in a circular pattern. Don't worry if you end up with a second layer of pears. Sprinkle the candied ginger evenly over the pears.

To make the cake: Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs and beat for another 30 seconds. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. To the butter mixture, add the flour mixture in 3 increments alternating with the milk in 2 increments, starting and ending with the flour, beating on low speed between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and candied ginger. Pour the batter evenly over the pears. Bake for about 45 minutes if using a 10-inch pan and about 55 minutes for a 9-incher. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and immediately invert onto a large cake plate. Let cool for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

•1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
•1/4 cup powdered sugar
•1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur (or a use a couple drops to a few drops of almond flavouring, as we did)

Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in the powdered sugar and Amaretto.

Serve the cake, slightly warm, with the whipped cream alongside.
Serves: 6 to 8

Rather Sweet Variation: Skip the whipped cream and serve this cake with a high-quality vanilla ice cream. Warm cake, cold ice cream melting on caramelized pears....yum .

I copied this recipe from this site, which said the recipe was: ''Reprinted with permission from © Rebecca Rather and Alison Oresman, The Pastry Queen Christmas''. I hope I was allowed to blog it, too!
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