Cake Decorating 101: Caramel Upside Down Pear Cake
If you've been following our series on cake decorating over the last two months,then you're probably looking for a little breather. That's why, this week, we're letting the oven do the work and introducing you to upside down cake with pears.
Photos by Molly Dunn Let the oven do the decorating for this beautiful upside down cake.
If you're going to tackle this it better be soon because the fruit will be out of season in September. You'll need nearly three pounds of Bosc pears to make this caramel upside down pear cake in a skillet.
After searching for the perfect recipe for an upside down pear cake, I came across several recipes where brown sugar and butter were combined in a cast-iron skillet to caramelize the cake, making a super sweet, comforting upside down cake. I followed Epicurious's recipe for a caramel upside down pear cake. .
Start by preparing nearly two and a half pounds of Bosc pears. You want juicy ones to decorate the top of the cake, so get the ripest ones you can find. Peel, quarter and core all of the pears, then squeeze a little bit of orange juice on top to keep them from browning; you're going to use orange peel in the cake, so use the juice for this purpose.
Make sure to finely mince the crystallized ginger.
Next, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the dry ingredients. Blend 1-1/3 cups of All-Purpose flour with 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger, 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon each of ground ginger and salt. The crystallized ginger is quite sticky, but make sure you chop the ginger pieces finely so you don't have a giant clump of ginger in the cake batter.
Pour orange juice over the pears to keep them from browning.
Set the dry mixture aside and prepare the wet ingredients, starting with the cup of grated peeled Bosc pears. You will need two medium-sized pears; these pears don't need to be as ripe as the other ones. Speed up the process by using the grater attachment with a food processor. If you want another fruit flavor in the batter, try grating an apple, such as a gala, empire or honeycrisp.
Beat 3 large eggs with 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon each of vanilla extract and grated orange peel and the cup of grated pears. Blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and set the batter aside.