Unassuming fruit desserts such as this pear upside down cake can elevate a routine weeknight meal to exceptional new heights. Magic happens during baking as the cinnamon-infused batter envelops the pear and caramel layer, creating a seamless union of fruit and cake. Choose a firm pear variety like D’Anjou that can withstand heat without breaking down – pantry essentials make up the remaining ingredients. Simple yet beautiful, this cake is ready in an hour.
Pear Upside Down Cake
Adapted from Whole Foods Market
2 Tbsp low-fat evaporated milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 ripe pear, cored and sliced into 1/4″ slices
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350°F and spray an 8-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan, then use it to line the pan. Whisk evaporated milk and brown sugar together in a small bowl; spread mixture evenly over bottom of cake pan.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté pear slices in a single layer, flipping once, until edges are golden, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from heat; place on a plate lined with paper towel to cool slightly.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk.
Arrange cooled pears in a decorative pattern in the bottom of the cake pan; pour batter over pears and smooth with a spatula. Bake 28-30 minutes, until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly on a wire rack, then run an offset spatula around the edges to loosen cake before inverting onto a plate; carefully remove parchment liner. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days and warm before serving.
Yield – 10 servings (serving size: 1 slice)
Calories – 178
Carbs – 28