Monday, December 7, 2009

Upside-down Pear Gingerbread

This is a good-looking cake but too sweet for my taste. I'd probably cut the sugar-butter base in half next time, reduce the sugar/molasses in the cake, and increase the spices. Actually, maybe I'd try to find a pear cake recipe instead. I was inspired to make this after seeing molasses for the first time, in the Wellcome (supermarket) near the Guting McDonalds. The recipe is from Jeanne Lemlin's Vegetarian Classics - slightly modified below.
  • 4 T butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 c brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 2 ripe but firm pears, Anjou or Red
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 t cinnamon (if weak, use more)
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1/2 t allspice (cloves if you have it)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/3 c unsulfured molasses
  • 1/2 c sour milk (milk + 1 T lemon juice)
  • 4 T melted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter the sides of a 9" round cake pan.
  2. To prepare the topping, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar and stir together until blended. Heat for a few minutes until it thickens slightly. Spread evenly into the cake pan. Note: When the cake is flipped over, this topping will infuse itself into the cake.
  3. Peel and slice each pear into quarters. Core, then slice each piece into 3 slices. Arrange the 24 slices evenly around the pan.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg, brown sugar, molasses, sour milk and melted butter. Pour into flour mixture and mix until well blended.
  6. Pour the batter over the pears. Bake 30-40 min or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 min. Invert onto plate.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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