Pear upside-down cake

Pear upside-down cake

Torta alle pere capovolta

By
From
The Italian Baker
Serves
8

Pears are amazing – full of character and flavour, with so many varieties available that baking with them can become a very serious matter of mixing and matching different qualities. For this recipe I use Kaiser or Red Bartlett varieties, as both have a very juicy and scented pulp that makes them ideal for baking. If you can’t find them, you can use another variety.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the cake

Quantity Ingredient
150g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons polenta
3 medium pears
110g butter, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
2 eggs
120ml milk

For the caramel

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons water
50g caster sugar
1 tablespoon butter

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 20-cm round cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, then stir in the polenta.
  3. For the caramel, put the water into a small pan set over a medium heat and add the sugar. Heat, without stirring, until the sugar has completely dissolved then, swirling the pan once or twice, cook until it turns a dark golden colour, about 9 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the butter. Whisk until blended, then pour the caramel into the prepared tin and swirl to evenly coat the base.
  4. Peel the pears, remove the cores and slice lengthways into thin slices. Arrange the slices in overlapping layers over the caramel.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a mixing bowl and electric hand-held beaters, beat the butter and sugar for the cake together until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour mixture and milk in three separate additions, alternating between them. Pour the mixture over the pears in the tin and bake for about 20–25 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin for 45 minutes, then place a large serving plate over the tin and invert the cake. Carefully remove the tin and allow the cake to cool completely before serving.
Tags:
baking
cakes
biscuits
Italian
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