In the next few days I'll be moving into a new home, attending a friend's wedding in San Francisco, then traveling to Santa Cruz for Thanksgiving with my husband's family. I'm pretty tired and have nothing much to say, but I'd like to give everyone an early holiday gift: an original recipe for pear upside-down spice cake (the one I won't be making next week). It's d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s and great for holiday parties or cozy afternoons.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I'll see you in late November!
Cornmeal Pear Upside-Down Cake
Although this cake keeps fairly well, the pears lose much of their gloss by the second day.
10 tbl unsalted butter, divided, room temp.
3/4 c packed light-brown sugar, divided
2 ripe and fragrant pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8ths
1 c flour
1/2 c coarse-ground cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp bpowder
1/2 tsp bsoda
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
zest of 1/3 lemon, minced
1/2 c sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c milk, room temp
Preheat oven to 350°.
Put 4 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a 9-inch cast iron skillet or a 9" round cake pan. Cook over low heat, until mixture is smooth and sugar begins to darken. Let some sugar splash up onto the sides of the pan. Arrange pear slices tho cover the bottom of the pan.
In a bowl, sift together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger,allspice, and salt. Stir in lemon zest.
In another bowl, beat remaining 6 tablespoons butter until creamy. Add granulated sugar and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar; beat until well combined. Beat in eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk to butter mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
Pour batter over fruit in pan. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool briefly, then turn out onto serving plate.