Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake
Source: Rebecca Courchesne, Frog Hollow Farm
7 ounces (1¾ sticks) butter, divided, softened
2 cups brown sugar, divided
6 ripe pears
2¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 large eggs
⅔ cup molasses
⅔ cup hot water
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the baking pan over a medium heat, melt 3 ounces of the butter and 1⅓ cups of the brown sugar together.
2. Peel and core the pears and slice each into ¼ in slices. Place cut side facing up and flatten slightly onto the brown sugar-butter mixture.
3. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt together and set aside.
4. In a mixer or with a hand-held mixer, cream the remaining 4 ounces butter and ⅔ cup brown sugar, and add the ginger, eggs, and molasses until combined. Reduce the speed, add the dry ingredients, and mix until smooth, then add the hot water and mix until combined. Be careful not to over mix; sometimes it’s best to stop and mix by hand with a rubber spatula.
5. Pour the batter over the pears and smooth with an off-set spatula. If the pears are sticking up a little, that’s okay.
6. Bake until the cake bounces back when touched, about 35 minutes.
7. Let sit for 10 minutes or so. Lay a sheet pan on the pan, reach under and hold the handle against the sheet pan and invert the pan onto the sheet pan.
8. Gently remove the baking pan. Let cool for 15 minutes or so, and slice into 12 servings. Serve with crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream.