I can hardly believe fall has come on us! For so long, we are just roasting in our house, paying exorbitant amounts on the electricity bill due to air conditioning, and then suddenly we’re pulling out sweaters from the closet and finding real shoes to wear.
The best part about fall, however, is the desire to bake and cook. I will admit that I do bake all summer long (hence the high electricity bills!) but when it’s 35C and above, it’s hard to be motivated to turn on the oven. But as soon as the nights get cooler and tree fruit comes in season, I get very excited to bake.
This recipe is perfect when you want a taste of fall. It has warm pears and gingerbread and smells like a cozy evening in. You can warm it up to serve with buttermilk or vanilla ice cream or leave it as is and call it breakfast. No matter how you serve it, you should definitely do it soon.
Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread (from Starting Out)
What you need:
For the topping:
1 Tbsp butter
1-2 Tbsp corn syrup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 ripe but firm pears or tart apples, thinly sliced
For the cake:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup dark molasses
1-2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger or 1 tsp powdered ginger
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 8- or 9-inch pan.
To make the topping, melt the butter, corn syrup and brown sugar in the microwave or in a small pot on the stove until it’s smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan (it’s okay if it doesn’t cover the whole bottom because the mixture will be very reluctant to pour well). Arrange the pear slices on top, overlapping them a bit (they will shrink when cooked).
To make the cake batter, beat the butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl until well blended. Add the egg, buttermilk, molasses and ginger and beat until thoroughly combined.
In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir by hand just until combined. Pour the batter over the pear slices.
Bake the cake for about 40 minutes, until the top is springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes, run a knife around the edge, and invert it onto a cooling rack. If some of the pear slices remain in the pan, use a fork to pick them out and place them back on the cake.
Serve with whipped cream, buttermilk ice cream or just warmed.