Upside-Down Pear Cake with Cardamom and Honey

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So, my husband “doesn’t like pears.” Or at least he didn’t until he tasted this cake. I brought home pears from the grocery store, and he turned up his nose at my choice of fruit. I asked him if he had ever really had a “good” pear, and he kind-of shrugged. Oh well. I know him, and I knew that I could convert him if I found the right recipe.

The original recipe I found belongs to one of my blogger idols, Tartelette.  As you know, if you have read my previous posts, I’ve been on a major honey kick lately. I just don’t see a reason NOT to use honey over granulated sugar when it has health benefits as well as a more complex flavor. Tartelette also appreciates the benefits of honey. So, you can say that I’m officially a honey convert.

This recipe also includes the spice cardamom, which is traditionally an Indian spice but goes fantastically in sweet baked goods. Cardamom is also a major component of Masala chai tea blends, which I also love. To sum everything up: Pears, honey, and cardamom were made to be together!

Tartelette’s gluten-free recipe can be found here. It’s worth noting that her recipe is adapted from Elle A Table.

To make an 8″ cake (serves 4-6), you will need:

For the honey syrup:

  • 1/2c honey
  • 1/4c water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the cake:

  • 1/2c honey
  • 3 pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick of butter (original recipe calls for 1.5 sticks, and that’s what I used; but I think you could get by with less)
  • 3/4c all-purpose white flour
  • 1/2c whole wheat pastry flour (substitute with white pastry or regular all-purpose flour if you need to)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter)

Special equipment:

Pears are beautiful, aren't they?

Begin by making the honey syrup. Combine the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly while you make the cake batter.

Before continuing, peel, core, and slice the pears so they will be ready when the batter is.

Line your 8″ springform pan with parchment paper, and fill with the pears. Set aside while you make the batter.

Preaheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To start the cake batter, beat the eggs along with the honey on medium for 3 minutes.

Melt the butter. Man, that is a lot of butter. I’m trying to cut back, I really am. I just found this recipe and it was perfect, so I “sacrificed” and added the butter. Truth be told, I think you could get by with less- I think it would be worth cutting the butter to 6 TBS instead of 12, and adding in some water or possibly applesauce to the batter to make up for the lost liquid. But, as it was my first try with the recipe, I went ahead and used the full amount.

Anyway. Add the melted butter to the honey/egg mixture

Measure out the flour. 150g of flour total if you are using a scale; 1 1/4c total flour if not. Add in the cardamom and salt, and stir until combined.

Add the flour to the batter mixture and mix until combined (1 minute).

Now, drizzle the honey syrup over the pears in the prepared springform pan….

and add the batter on top.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, or until you can see the top is a lovely golden brown, like this ^!

Let the cake cool for about 5 minutes. Place a large plate or pie plate upside-down on top of the springform pan, and flip the cake onto the plate. Peel back the parchment paper and revel in the beauty of your creation. 😀

Mmmmm. Hello, my love.

You’re going to need a tall glass of milk with this, if that’s your thing.

By the way, my husband had 2 slices. Wait, that was me. But he did have one slice, and loved the pears! Success!

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