Upside-down is tops


When it’s as cold as it has been in New York recently, there is nothing better than baking a cake.

Ashley and I were looking at a great recipe for pineapple and cardamon upside-down cake, but wanted to adapt it to something more seasonal. We ended up modifying this recipe for pears to help keep our apartment warm and our bellies full.
We didn’t bother peeling the pears, but we did core them with a spoon.
As one would do with a tarte tatin, we heated the butter and sugar in a oven-safe frying pan and, once it was warm and bubbly, added the pear slices in a swirl. Rather than use pineapple juice, we bought some pear nectar. 
We didn’t have any cardamon on hand, so we went to the store for some fresh stuff. It was so fresh, in fact, that although we used the lesser amount in the range recommended in the recipe, the flavor was still a bit more dominant than we would prefer. Ashley thought it tasted a bit reminiscent of an Indian sweet, like Gulab Jamun. Were we to make it again, I’d probably add it at the end and go 1/8th of a teaspoon at a time.
Once the batter was mixed, we poured it over the pears, and put the in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes.
We did add a final touch (on a slice-by-slice basis): we sprinkled a few drops of black strap rum over the finished cake.
Cardamon-dominance or not, it was divine.

Does anyone have favorite non-pineapple upside-down cakes? I’m a huge fan of the genre.

(P.S. Ashley’s latest Serious Eats post will be up on the site today–check it out!)

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Let’s Discuss

  1. Mmm, that sounds delicious! I rather like cardamom, personally – do you have the cookbook "Spice"? The author groups her recipes by spice groups of three that work together – you should check what is supposed to complement cardamom!

  2. oh I'm drooling! you are right, the cold weather calls for baking. I like that you altered the recipe and didn't go with the traditional ingredients. I would love to try this.

    I'm off now to visit Ashley's post!

    ps. yes, my nephew loved your book!

  3. I found a recipe from fine cooking which we baked for my birthday and was wonderful. It is a dark chocolate banana caramel upside down cake. I also did a pear ginger molasses cake with pumpkin whipped cream for my mom's birthday and fantastic.

  4. Yum – Although it is not cold down here in Flood stricken Brisbane! I do feel like an upside down cake too. Perhaps I will use the pineapple to make it more tropical and eat it with vanilla ice-cream.

  5. I wish you and all of your neighbors the best in Brisbane, WTHI. The proportions of the flooding are just unimaginable. Glad that the suggestion of Pineapple Upside-down cake might add some levity.

    Thank you for these tremendous suggestions! Um, dark chocolate banana caramel upside down cake? Yes, please!

    Glad you like the photos. I wish there were leftovers…

  6. Oh, this looks scrumptious! I have never tried pineapple upside down cake, but I certainly plan to one day! I will definitely have to try this recipe out one day! :)

    Thank you for sharing! You have a very lovely blog. :)


  7. This is beautiful and perfect. I am going to make it today while the snow is falling…again. Thank you writing such an interesting blog!

  8. When I was a wee lass I used to make pineapple upside down cake for my family in the summer. But these beeeyootiful pics make me want to try the pear version. Thanks so much for sharing those gorgeous shots!