Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Caramelized Pear and Cranberry Upside Down Cake - Outdoor Wednesday



Bob adores pears and today's post is about our quest for pears and the sights we encountered on our way to an orchard to pick them. This was our first stop. If a man can call his home a castle, I guess it logically follows that a marina can be called a yacht club.



There wasn't a yacht in site, but there were sail boats and other small marine vessels, including the one that appears below.



They were having a great time, but they were in cramped quarters and the boat was riding low in the water.




...and this was the object of our quest. An orchard full of Bartlett pears to make a cake I've been wanting to try.



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The orchards of local growers are now open and bargain hunters, drawn by the lure of u-pick fruit, have descended on them with a vengeance. Pears and early apples are ripe for the picking and the pears are especially good this year. As usual, I ended up with more fruit than I had intended to pick. This lovely upside down cake with caramelized pears and cranberries is one of the recipes I've used to work my way through the glut. The recipe was developed by Matthew Kennedy. It's one of his signature desserts. The cake is simple, different and delicious. I'll definitely be making it again but I'll replace the vanilla extract with pear brandy and use a brulée torch to create a more defined layer of caramel. My only disappointment was the time spent creating a ring of overlapping pear slices. They weren't discernible in the finished cake. Here's the recipe.

Caramelized Pear and Cranberry Upside-Down Cake
...From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
11 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, divided use
3/4 cup 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 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan. Set aside
2) Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a saucepan set 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.
3) Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
4) 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.
5) 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 a wire rack, Cool for 5 minutes.
6) Place a serving plate over cake pan; gently invert cake tapping gently to release. Serve warm. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

This recipe is being linked to Outdoor Wednesday, an event sponsored by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.

62 comments:

Amy I. said...

Looks absolutely delicious! U-pick fruit is one of my favorite pastimes and one of my favorite things about living in Oregon. We're lucky enough to have a pear tree in our backyard. Seems like you've gotten a great start to fall already!

Mary said...

Bring fall in - Yum Yum! Love the couple in the little khaki lookin' thingy!

Fifi Flowers said...

YUM!!!

My Little Space said...

Nobody touch this! It's mine...yeap, it's mine!

Bits of Taste said...

This is so perfect! It must be a mouth watering dessert for all!

petite nyonya said...

This cake looks truly moist and delicious.

Alessandra said...

Great recipe, thank you Mary! Can I put your link on my blog list?

Ciao
Alessandra

JLS Hall (Joysweb) said...

Gosh, those pears look really beautiful, and the cake sounds amazing! I'm gonna have to go check out that "real coffee cake" recipe, too. Have a great Wednesday!

Martha said...

This looks yummy -- so yummy in fact that I may have to make it today!

Puna said...

hmmmm Mary. This looks interesting. I've never seen those two ingredients combined before.

pigpigscorner said...

Beautiful! and the cake looks amazing! I've got to try making upside down cakes!!

Cathy said...

A beautiful cake, Mary. Bartletts are my favorite and I love cooking with them. Great idea to combine them with cranberries for a little tartness.

Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing. The picture of the finished cake is so pretty.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Great pictures...I would love to have fruit tree's. Maybe one day!

Bonnie said...

Those pears look wonderful!

Hootin' Anni said...

Oh be still my aching heart! I'm so hungry now, I can eat a horse...and this pear upside down cake......well, I can SMELL it!! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

And the Yacht club photos are super Mary. You can't beat a scene like those.

Jamie said...

My husband is the pear lover here and he loves upside down cakes! This would be perfect! Looks wonderful!

Mary said...

Alessandra I would be honored, especially after seeing you beautiful blog.

Kathleen said...

That looks wonderful..No U Pick pears here..apples, at 23 dollars for a 20 lb bag...low bush, many varieties, but not cheap...

the ungourmet said...

Love the pear and cranberry combination. Lovely cake!

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

I would love to make this to take to my aunt's in Georgia for Thanksgiving this year. Now, if I can only find some decent pears.

Love the little dinghy photo!

noble pig said...

I really want to go pear picking, the cake looks amazing too. Very nice.

The Blonde Duck said...

That looks wonderful! Absolutely delicious!

I'm so ready for fall.

figtree said...

YUM! Can a dessert get any better than this???????????????? Figtreeapps

Maria Berg said...

Tomato Jam - and I had tomatoes chocolate. My father new wife usually make green tomatoes in acid..something and it it in winter time.

Pear we have one tree but it is small and only a few of them.
I do not know If I would like this one, MB.

Riet said...

Such lovely pictures. I don't dare read your delicious recipies . I try to loose a few kilo's. Have a nice day and thank you for your visit.

Pam said...

This looks delicious even if the overlapping pears didn't show up. I love those u-pick orchards.

hip chick said...

Oh my word that looks so good. I'm going to have to try it. It looks like a pleasant change from cranberries and apples.

Love Bears All Things said...

That looks like a paddle boat and it does look over loaded.
The cake looks delicious.
Mama Bear

Hélène Glehen said...

Mary,
Each time I visit your blog you make me mouth watering. your recipes seem all delicious.

Jane (Frugal Fine Living) said...

Wow, does that look gorgeous! I think you need to have your own show on The Food Network!

Jane

Terry said...

Oh my gosh, that cake looks wonderful. You didn't need to spend your time overlapping the pears, it would look great if you just randomly placed them.

Stay@homemommy said...

I love all the boats! The cake looks absolutely scrumptious. Have a great day.

Kitty Valerie said...

As usual that looks just yummy!!!
Thanks for sharing. Have a great day,
Val

Ebie said...

Hi Ms Mary, I love your taste test kitchen! You always have some way of making it taste better, if not the best. Love the photos especially the couple.
I hope to go for the raspberries when I am able.
Thanks for sharing.

daylily777 said...

I love this post . The pics are great.I love upside down cakes ,this is one recipe I must try. ;-) It looks sooo good!!!
Thanks for stopping by.
~Myrna

SmilingSally said...

Just the title of this recipe has my mouth watering.

bj said...

Dearest Mary, i am as thrilled when you stop by as I would be of Julia Child dropping in..(well, when she was alive!!:O)Thanks so much for taking the time. I also feel a little intemidated because what I cook is farm food...what you cook is delectable food. I love coming over to see just what you have for us each time.
This cake sounds sooooo good. And, how pretty it is. Thanks for the recipe....
xo bj

storyteller said...

Oh YUM! Having just returned a while ago from my morning class and finished lunch, I could go for some dessert ... and THIS looks most tempting. Loved the 'search' photos too. Thanks for your visit to Happily Retired Gal and your kind words. I am having a lovely day, thanks. Hope YOU are too ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Lori E said...

Mary this is what I love about your site. Pointing out the work involved in arranging the pears that doesn't even pay off in the end.
Lots of people don't try things just because of the work that would be involved.
You just cut the work in half.

Jean Stockdale said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I am so glad to meet you online! What a fabulous cook (or chef may be the better term!) you are. Your cake is gorgeous and I can only imagine how good it tasted. Thanks for sharing. blessings.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

OH Mary,
That looks so so good! You are an awesome cook! Cindy

Pam said...

Hi Mary, this post reminds me of the big old pear tree in my grandmothers back yard. As children we would gather all the pears that fell on the ground and she would make pickled pear relish.
I think I like your receipt better :)
Nice photo journey to the marina too.

Marsha said...

I have never seen a pear tree and what a fun experience picking your own must have been. The two guys under the slow wake sign sure made me smile and the gorgeous cake sure made me hungry! Thanks for sharing!

Katherinellen said...

Mary,
Love your Outdoor post...so cute...And the pears look delicious...Sound like the cake is yummy...Katherinellen

Pam said...

I love fresh picked pears - they are the best. Your cake looks so delicious, I could eat a few slices.

Brenda said...

Oh, wish you lived around here. We had tons of pears on one little tree. And we don't like pears! Gave them to the neighbors.
Brenda

jeanne said...

Hello Mary, Your journey to find pears and apples was a very interesting one. I would love to pick that wonderful fruit. I too would get carried away. We once picked sweet cherries in Traverse City MI. They are famous for their cherries, all kinds. I picked so many it took me two days to make black cherry preserves. I had so many pint jars I was giving it away for a year.

The cake looks delicious. I would like to try making it. Thanks for the recipe.

Hugs...Jeanne

ellen b. said...

Oh girl...you are welcome to come pick the pears off my tree in Washington State...I'm always looking for people to give them away to :0)

Helene said...

That must be so nice to pick your own pears. Love the pitures.

Miller Racing Family said...

I totally love the photos. I love the photo of the couple in the little boat, how cute. The photo of the pears are beautiful. Thanks for stopping by my blog today and have a fabulous OW!

Tracey The AVON Lady said...

The cake looks so delicious! I love all of your recipes that you post.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today for a visit. Since I am in the southwest, my growing season will last through the winter. If you get a chance, stop by again as I just posted a giveaway.

Lisa Shatzer said...

Looks like a fun day! I loved going fruit picking with my family when I was a kid and now I am able to take my boys. Fresh is always best! The cake looks wonderful!

Pauline said...

Mmm, you make me miss eating Bosc and Bartlett pears! My favorite! I love them when they're practically overripe. That is when they become a waterfall of juice with each bite.

Thanks for the comment on my veggie empanadas! It's so flattering to hear that you will make it for you and Bob!

Katy ~ said...

I miss living along the coast (opting for the hills at this time in my life, instead). Your pictures re so crystal clear and beautiful.

And speaking of beautiful, your cake sounds perfect for the season (or any season, grins). I like the idea of the pear brandy....

Amy said...

This recipe looks absolutely terrific. My husband is a pear lover. I've got to try this and surprise him!!! Thank you!

Anita said...

This cake looks delicious and I'm looking forward to trying the recipe. Thanks for dropping by my blog and for your kind comments.

sparkly_jules said...

Mary, I love pears! and it's that time of year! I am definitely going to make this.

I have a lovely pear pie recipe I put together a month ago. The recipe, if you're interested, is on the Cooking With Jules section of my blog!

Bon appetit'

Debinhawaii said...

Such gorgeous pears and a delicious-looking cake too.

Jessica Cangiano said...

How scrumptious and timelessly soothing (upside down cakes of all manner being great comfort foods) this very autumn appropriate recipe sounds.


Thank you very much for your lovely comment, my dear, it's a joy to make your acquaintance!

♥ Jessica

Glamorous G said...

Thank you for posting. I made it with fresh cranberries, and just made it in the cast iron skillet I melted the butter in. It came out perfectly. Great recipe!

Glamorous G said...

Thank you for this awesome recipe. I made it with fresh cranberries, and put it in an iron skillet. So super great!

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