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Sweet caramel-topped pear upside down cake.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and the water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil for about 8 minutes, without stirring, until the mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour the caramel over the bottom of the prepared pan and swirl to coat evenly. Layer the pear slices evenly over the caramel, overlapping as needed.
3. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
4. Beat the remaining stick of butter, remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, and the vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, blending well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and milk alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, blending until just incorporated. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold one-fourth of the egg whites into the batter. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
5. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Make sure to spread it to evenly cover the pears. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto a wire rack and remove the parchment paper. Serve warm.
This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit via Karen DeMasco.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!