Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mary's Caramelized Pear and Cranberry Upside Down Cake

An every morning must read is friend Mary's One Perfect Bite. She is an amazing cook and her recipes are always outstanding. I often think that I'll make one but as so often happens, I don't . . . however, . . .

I was having company for lunch last Wednesday -- a Farmer's Market Luncheon. Menu planned, shopping list for vegetables made. Dessert was to be fruit based and since pears were coming to the market, a favorite pear claufouti was my choice for dessert.

But then I read Mary's blog -- which featured this wonderful cake.

A caramelized pear and cranberry upside down cake.

It was easy to put together. And I love the flavor of pears and cranberries. Husband Jim loves upside down cakes.

A shower of powdered sugar over each serving made the cake just a little more special.

The only variance I made in Mary's recipe was to not bake it in a cake tin but rather my copper tarte tatin pan. THE perfect pan for this wonderful cake!

I'm sure this will be on our table again and again during pear season. It would make a wonderful dessert for Thanksgiving as well.

Mary's Caramelized Pear and Cranberry Upside Down Cake
. . . from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

11 T plus 1 t. unsalted butter, divided use
3/4 c. lightly packed golden brown sugar
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 firm but ripe pears, peeled, halved, cored and cut in 1/8 inch slices
1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2/3 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 cups whole milk

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan. Set aside.

Melt 6 T. butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour into cake pan. Sprinkle cranberries over syrup in cake pan; top with pear slices in an overlapping, circular pattern. Set aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

Cream remaining 1/3 cup butter with sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just combined. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients, alternating in thirds with milk and beating until well blended. Pour batter over pears, using a spatula to cover fruit if necessary.

Bake cake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until edges are golden and a cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes.

Place a serving plate over cake pan; gently invert cake tapping gently to release. Serve warm. (with nice shower of powdered sugar).

Note: My computer woes continued as I had a learning curve with my new Mac. The learning curve was with loading pictures. First with a defective device (no wonder it didn't work -- the device didn't work -- it wasn't just me!) and then with a screen that didn't show the whole screen and so I watched the IPhoto opening tutorial -- SIX times! But with the help of my dear son-in-law, I had a great teacher and so I am back to my daily Lines from Linderhof complete with pictures!


Pondside said...

I'm glad to see you back with great photos!
The cake looks delicious, but it's the tart pan that gets my full attention - perfect.

Southerncook said...

The recipe sounds fabulous and I know if it came from Mary it is wonderful. It may very well be on my Thanksgiving dessert table as well.

That tart tatin pan is to die for. Where did you get it????? Inquiring minds NEED to know.

Good to see you back. I was getting worried.


Southerncook said...

Oh my, I just found one on amazon. I am very tempted and it is made by Mauviel.


Martha said...

Mine is a mauviel -- but I got it on ebay ages ago thinking I would make a tart tatin --haven't done it yet but it is a great pan for upside down cakes!

La Table De Nana said...

Martha.. even the pan is pretty~I think I had spotted this's now at the forefront!

Unknown said...


Hope you enjoy your mac.

Elizabeth and Gary said...

Oh my goodness how yummy this is, looks divine!
You always amaze me with your talent of cooking.
Have a wonderful day,

Amy said...

Pears and cranberries...looks so yummy. I never really thought of that combination before. My husband for be overjoyed with that cake also. He's a pear lover. Thanks!

Carolyn said...

That looks so good.Now that the days are cooler I enjoy baking more too.


Kathleen said...

Anything carmelized sounds pretty darn good to me. I'll definitely give this recipe a try. Thanks for sharing it!