Cranberry Pear Upside-Down Gingerbread
This upside down cake is packed full of winter flavors.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 8 servings.
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, in 6 pieces, (4 tablespoons)
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces whole fresh or frozen cranberries, (about 2 cups)
- 2 large, ripe, buttery pears (such at Bartletts), peeled, cut off the core, sliced lengthwise 1/4" or thinner
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (such as sunflower)
- 2 tablespoons peeled and finely grated fresh ginger (I like to use a microplane), (1 ounce)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unsulphured, blackstrap or dark molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- lightly sweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche, for serving
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350º.
Grease the sides of a 9" round cake pan with a bit of the butter, then place the rest of the butter pieces in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar and the salt evenly over the butter, and place in the oven until melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Dump in the cranberries (they should almost completely cover the bottom), then carefully the pears over the cranberries. Set aside while you make the batter.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, grated ginger, sugar, molasses and egg to combine. Whisk in the milk. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, powdered ginger, cinnamon and pepper. Whisk the dries into the wets until smooth. The batter will be runny. Pour the batter over the pears.
Bake the cake until it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 - 35 minutes, rotating halfway through. Run a thin knife or small, offset spatula around the perimeter of the cake to loosen it. Invert a large plate over the cake. Wearing oven mitts, grasp both the plate and the cake pan and flip them over. Carefully lift the pan off. If some cake has stuck to the pan, you can scrape it off and spackle it back on (or just eat it - it IS the best part, and none will be the wiser).
Serve the cake warm or at room temperature, with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche. The cake is best the day it is made, but you can store it in an airtight container at room temp or in the fridge for a day or two.
Be sure to use ripe pears for this cake. They should smell fragrant and have a hint of give when pressed.
Nutritional values are based on one of eight servings.
Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 345mg | Potassium: 312mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 5.7mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1.6mg