‘Tis the season for party planning, and Christmas desserts are a must in my book. My friend enlisted me with the task of baking the desserts for the Christmas White Elephant party she was having last night so I rose to the occasion and tried to think of the most festive, yet non-traditional desserts I could think of. With a little help from Bon Appetit, the spiced pear upside down cake was a huge hit. Plus it’s pretty impressive looking, which never hurts in the dessert world.
The best part about this cake? It makes a great substitute for breakfast the next morning.
Serves 8-10 people.
Kitchen Tools: springform pan, parchment paper, sifter, saucepan, electric mixer, spatula, baking sheet
1 1/2 cups flour + extra for dusting 1 cup sugar
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 ripe bosc pear
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
3 tbsp orange juice (I used the juice from my zesting orange)
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350*F. Butter and flour your springform pan. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit on the bottom of the pan. Peel and slice pears in half. Use a teaspoon to core out the seed part and make sure to remove the stem – I’ve heard they don’t taste so good.
In a saucepan, melt the butter and add in sugar, orange juice, and pomegranate molasses. Heat on medium low for about 5 minutes until the sugar has melted and it just starts to bubble. Add the pears in curved side down and let cook undisturbed for 3 more minutes. Keep checking on the molasses mixture to make sure that it isn’t burning. It should turn a dark brown color but never black.
Once pears are just starting to soften, remove them and arrange them flat side down on top of the parchment paper in your pan. Reduce the rest of your molasses mixture on medium low heat for about 3 minutes then pour it over the pears. Place your pan in the fridge to set the molasses while you make the batter.
Use the electric mixer to beat the eggs, sugar, and orange zest together until it turns slightly fluffy and lighter in color, about 6 minutes. Fold in dry ingredients for the batter in three parts. Make sure to fully incorporate each batch of dry ingredients with your spatula before starting on the next. Gradually mix in olive oil. Stir with a rubber spatula to incorporate.
Pour batter over the pears in your springform pan. Place a the baking sheet on the very bottom rung of your oven and the pan in the middle right above it. (This will catch any molasses drips that you definitely don’t want hanging around the bottom of your oven).
Bake for about 50 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Let sit for at least 20 minutes until trying to remove the cake from the springform pan. Place your cake plate on top of the cake and flip it so that the pears are on top. Remove parchment and sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving.