Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pears become a cake.

I brought this on myself really. I bought pears at Costco earlier in the week. The season of pears is here and they are a favorite of both myself and my husband. Then I went to the farmer's market...and bought more, locally grown pears.

So, with a bushel of pears in the house, I set out to find something to do with them.

Enter cake.

I don't think anyone who knows me is surprised that I love cake, I also love fruit with my cake, take for example pineapple upside down cake. Last week, I found a recipe for an apple upside down cake and knew a quick substitution of pears for the apples was in order.

While the eggplant bolognese sauce I made last week simmered away, I pulled this cake together. Coming from Cooking Light, it used a few tricks to make a nice light cake without a lot of calories, including whipped egg whites.

I chose to whip mine by hand because I was feeling too lazy to pull the hand mixer out. This statement makes no sense when you really think about it. It took me 15 minutes to whip them by hand, which wasn't too bad, now I know and next time I will just dig the hand mixer out.

The cake would be really good with some fresh whipped cream on top.

Pear Upside Down Cake

Adapted from Cooking Light

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 cups sliced pears (about 2-3 large pears)

1 1/3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
3 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray a 9 inch round cake pan with cooking spray.

For topping, combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium high heat, cook until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Once sugar is dissolved, stop stirring and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes until light golden brown. Immediately pour syrup into cake pan and swirl cake pan to coat the bottom evenly. Arrange pear slices in pan over the syrup.

For the cake, combine flour, baking soda and salt in bowl and whisk together.

Combine melted butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla and whisk to combine well. Add flour mixture and milk to sugar mixture alternating between the two until combined.

Whisk egg whites in clean bowl until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, then pour batter over the pear slices in cake pan.

Bake for 35 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool on wire rack for 5 minutes, then loosen edges of cake with a knife and invert on to serving plate. Serve either warm or at room temp.

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