Pear Spice Upside-Down Cake

So many pears on our tree! So I googled for a pear dessert, and found this recipe for Pear Spice Upside-Down Cake that looked good - and it was! And relatively healthy, too. The freshly pureed pears makes it spongy and light, and removes the need for oil. I adapted it to make two 8-inch rounds (rather than one 9-inch) since that's what I have -- and why not round up? Make sure the pear slices on the bottom are ripe, or they can be too hard even when cooked. The pears used in the sauce/puree can (optionally) be more green. The pear sauce, ginger, and spice combination in the cake is delicious.


2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
4 tsp tapioca or 1.5 T cornstarch
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cloves

4-5 large pears (Bosc)

2 cups (generous) freshly pureed pears (whip in a food processor)
3 T water
1 cup maple syrup (half for cake, half to pour over bottom pears)
1 1/2 T lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients. Set aside.

Line bottom of two 8-inch round pans with parchment paper cut to fit. Peel a couple of pears, and cut into thin slices (< 1/4 inch). Chop the rest (no need to peel the rest). Arrange pear slices on parchment paper. In each pan, pour 1/4 C of the maple syrup over the pears (this uses half of the syrup).

(Note: Using fresh pears whipped to a puree in a food processor gives the cake a very light, spongy texture. If you're using canned or frozen & thawed puree,  you'll end up with a heavier cake. Try to whip air into it, or use portion of some freshly whipped.)

Blend the rest of the pears with 3 T water, until consistency of applesauce. Use enough pears to get 2 generous cups worth of sauce. Add blended pears, syrup, lemon juice and vanilla to dry and mix until just combined; don't over-stir. It will feel light and airy!

Pour batter over pears. Back for 40-45 minutes at 350 (or until toothpick comes out clean).

Run a knife around the edge to loosen any stuck parts of the cake. Place a serving dish over it and invert. Carefully peel off parchment paper.  Let it cool and serve. It tastes even better cool/cold!

One to eat, one to give away!

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