Because it’s fall: A bonus post

September 26, 2010

Which is pretty egregiously conceited of me, as I presume you’d consider an additional post on a single day a bonus. But then, you wouldn’t know that it was an additional post unless you had already read the first one, which, unless you are of a masochistic slant, you wouldn’t do unless you found some benefit to it. So OK, then.

Dessert. Pear upside down cake, and a damn fine thing.

This would be tonight’s dessert, a pear upside down cake, because I was in the notion for pears. I had pineapple, I had apples, but pears, with the pecan and brown sugar and butter topping I already had, made a delightful dessert.

And also served as an abject lesson, to wit.: do NOT use your springform pan to make this, never mind your cake pans are wussy little things and will not accommodate all the batter the following recipe will yield.

Or, if you do, be prepared to (a) put that puppy on a foil-covered cookie sheet, and (b) soak the empty pan in a sinkful of hot water for a while.

Next time, I’ll use a casserole dish or my iron skillet or …. or something. But it didn’t harm the taste, which is most excellent.

The recipe is cribbed from the eGullet website, where it was used for a fig upside down cake, which made me want to weep, as it made its appearance after figs were past their brief season, and I could have made it just as was suggested, which would have been To Die For. But pears ain’t too shabby, either.

I used the aforementioned pecan/brown sugar/butter topping I’d brought home from work. I’d estimate its proportions to be about a half a stick of butter, a cup of pecans, and maybe 2/3 of a cup of brown sugar. As it had been chilled in the fridge for a couple of days, I heated it while I peeled and sliced pears.

A note on these pears. They’re the old-fashioned pears like we used to have in our orchard, hard as rocks, green, and by the time they ripen to a golden yellow, they’re damn near rotten. But green, they cook up wonderfully. They’re what made pear preserves by the dishpan-full when I was a kid, and dear God, what I’d give to have a few pints of those pear preserves today!

So I arranged the pears in a nice little pinwheel on the bottom of the aforementioned heavily sprayed-with-cooking-spray springform pan, and topped them with the brown sugar/pecan stuff.  Whereupon the pan began to leak on the countertop, which I did not know until I finished the stinkin’ cake and went to put it in the oven, whereupon stuff started dropping to the bottom of the oven and sizzling, whereupon I said, “Oh, shit!” and snatched it out and put it on a cookie sheet I had hastily covered with foil.

All’s well that ends well. The springform pan is even clean now.

Anyway. Here’s the cake batter:

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp amaretto (because it called for vanilla, and I was O-U-T, and that would, I figured, suffice. It did.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (or, in my case, a half-cup half-and-half and a quarter-cup 2 percent, because, well, that’s what I had)

Cream the butter and sugar and amaretto for 3-4 minutes, until it’s nice and creamy and light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat after each one until it’s smooth. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; add it in three  additions, alternating with milk, beating after each one.

Pour batter on top of fruit/nut topping. Bake at 325 for an hour, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool five minutes in pan, then invert onto a plate. Take a fork to the pieces of pear that stuck to the pan, and jigsaw-puzzle them in to the top of the cake where they look pretty.

This, folks, is freakin’ GOOD. Make it. I’m so very anxious to make it with a blackberry “top” on it, and serve it with a drizzle of creme fraiche….

Oh. There was dinner, too. Warmed-up pork loin with honey-chipotle cream sauce. (I wanted to make Jezebel sauce, but couldn’t be bothered to go out to the grocery to get apple jelly and pineapple preserves and horseradish.) Zucchini fritters. Squash casserole. Corn on the cob. That odd okra, fried.

Odd okra, with my 8-inch chef's knife, for scale purposes.

Okra was good. Tasted much like regular okra, maybe a tad sweeter.

So it was the last gasp of summer on a fall evening. And it was good.

And with that, I will bid you and y’mama ‘n ’em good night, and commence to get psyched up for Monday.

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3 Responses to “Because it’s fall: A bonus post”

  1. RMJ Says:

    Well I read both. Glad you posted the bonus one but sure wish I had a slice of that Pear upside down cake.

  2. Sharon Says:

    Looks gorgeous. So how did the spring form pan go wrong?
    It leaked.

  3. Pamela Coulter Says:

    Trish and I thought the pear cake looked great. LOL at the spring form pan .
    But its funny cause I bake all the time in my spring form pan and it doesn’t leak maybe your is worn out LOL


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