Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Surprise!!! It's a virtual Baby Shower....

Our friend, Laura of Sew You Can Cook, is expecting her second child, another wonderful baby boy, in November.  Our friend, Tara of Tara's Multi-Cultural Table, invited us all to a baby shower.  Tara told us that Thanksgiving is Laura's favorite holiday and that, since this year they will have so much more to be thankful for, she would like for all of us to post a favorite Thanksgiving dish as a surprise for Laura.

Count me in.  I love holidays.  I love babies. I love parties. I love this blogging community to which I belong.  You know what else I love?  Pumpkin, especially in pumpkin pie. But, alas, Thanksgiving calls for a feast and feasting means more than one choice for dessert. So I am sharing with you today another wonderful Fall dessert that is a perfect ending for you Thanksgiving Dinner.

We have 2 pear trees in our back yard and they keep us well provided with pear each year.  I can them.  I turn them into pear butter.  We eat them as they are.  And I bake with them.  One of the things I bake with them is this Caramelized Pear Upside Down Cake.  I first made this recipe with apples as it is found in the October 2006 issue of Cuisine at Home.  It was so delicious that it became a regular around our house.  When we planted pear trees and started enjoying the fruits of our labor, I started making it with pears in place of the apples.  It has become a family favorite and I hope that Lauren (and you) enjoy it as much as we do.

Start off by making the caramel.  Combine water, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a cast iron skillet.  Cook and stir over medium heat, stirring often until the mixture turns golden brown.

Remove the sugar mixture from the heat source and carefully stir in cream, butter, rum and vanilla. The caramel may sputter so watch that it doesn't land on sticks....and it burns...and it is nasty. I may be speaking from experience here.

Place the pear halves (in this case because my pears were small this year) or quarters (if you are buying beautiful big pears) onto the caramel.  Pack them in tightly because they will shrink during cooking.

Pour the cake batter over the pears, spreading to cover completely.  Place into a preheated 350* oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake removes cleanly.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan onto a serving plate.  Don't let it cool completely in the pan as the caramel may harden and the cake won't release.

After 10 minutes flip onto a serving platter and let cool completely.  If some of the pears stick to the bottom of the pan, just take them out with a spatula and insert them into the indentation.  It's like putting together a puzzle.

When the cake is cooled you can sprinkle it with powdered sugar and serve it as is or top it with whipped cream or ice cream as you prefer.  I usually just serve it as is.  It is delicious just like this.

Caramelized Pear Upside Down Cake
adapted from Cuisine at Home, Issue # 59

1/2 c. sugar
3 T. water
1 t. fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
2 T, heavy cream
1 T. butter
1 T. dark rum
1/2 t. vanilla
Pears, peeled, cored and halved or quartered according to size.  3-4 large or 6-8 small.
1 stick butter, melted 
1 c. sugar
1 c. grated pear
2 eggs 
Zest of 1 lemon
1 c. flour
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground cardamom
Powdered Sugar for Dusting

Place a 9" or 10" cast iron skillet onto a burner set for medium heat.  Add sugar, water, lemon juice and salt. Cook and stir until golden brown, about 5 minutes or so.  Remove skillet from heat source.  Carefully stir in the cream, butter, rum and vanilla.  Mixture may sputter as you add the cream so use caution. Stir until caramel is formed.  Allow to cool slightly.  Arrange the pears in the caramel, packing tightly as they will shrink during cooking.  

In large bowl of stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment mix sugar, butter, pear, egg and lemon until combined.  Add flour and spices and whisk just to blend.  Pour batter over pears in skillet, covering completely.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake removes cleanly.  Allow cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter.  Allow cake to cool completely and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Print Recipe

Take a look at what everyone brought to the Baby Shower

Congratulations Lauren!

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  1. That looks delicious! I wish I had a pear tree in my backyard too. I love pineapple upside down cake, but have never done any other version. I know I would love this!

  2. You had me at caramel. This looks perfect! I love that powdered sugar topping. Will definitely be trying this. Thanks so much for joining me in celebrating Lauren!

  3. I have made the apple version but never a pear. It sounds amazing! Of course any fruit dessert is a dessert my husband and I fight over. The last piece is always a battle.

    1. Yes, Emily, I also make the apple version and it is delicious too. May I suggest that you feed each other the last piece ala Lady and the Tramp.

  4. How great to have your own pear trees! Your cake sounds great. Thank you! :)

  5. What a wonderful idea to use pears instead of apples for this cake! What a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving dessert spread!

  6. I have made an upside-down pear gingerbread cake, but I will have to give this a try soon. Thanks for helping celebrate Lauren!

    1. Oh, the gingerbread version sounds good too. You try mine and I'll try yours LOL

  7. This looks great! I've never thought of using other fruit in an upside down cake so now you've really got me thinking!

    Thanks for sharing with us at the Tips & Tricks party. That's how I found this post =] Hope to see you again on Monday!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Lisa and for hosting tips and tricks.


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