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Pear Upside-Down Cake

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

Sweet caramel-topped pear upside down cake.

Ingredients

  • 1-¼ cup Sugar, Divided
  • ¼ cups Water
  • 1-¼ stick Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature, Divided Use
  • 2 whole Pears, Peeled, Cored, And Sliced 1/8-inch Thick
  • ¾ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 whole Eggs, Separated
  • ½ cups Whole Milk

Preparation

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.

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