Upside Down Pear & Ginger Cake Recipe

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Words by Nicole Thomsen
January 18th, 2016

In the second part of our food series with Dublin Cookery School we bring you an easy to follow recipe for a delicious Upside Down Pear and Ginger Cake that’s sure to satisfy and impress any sweet tooth this Blue Monday (the most depressing day of the year, apparently!). We say forget about your January detox just for today and turn that frown upside down!

Upside Down Pear And Ginger Cake

Ingredients:

The pear topping

  • 90g butter
  • 90g castor or granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp syrup from a jar of preserved ginger (or use 2 tbsp honey plus 1 tsp freshly grated ginger instead)
  • 3 or 4 large firm pears
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

The cake

  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 125g castor sugar
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 1 level tsp baking powder
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp syrup from preserved ginger (or use 3 tbsp honey plus 2 tsp freshly grated ginger instead)

Preserved ginger- Preserved ginger is fresh ginger that has been blanched in boiling water a number of times and then added to a sugar syrup. It is available in jars in specialist shops and the thick ginger syrup is as wonderful as the preserved ginger itself. Preserved ginger adds another dimension to many cakes, desserts and biscuits. If you are unable to find these jars, then use some freshly grated ginger and honey.

Cooking Instructions:
Serves 6

Equipment needed: Frying pan, about 28cm across and at least 3.5cm deep that can be placed in the oven, or a tarte tatin tin.

How to make:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C Fan, 325°

2. Peel, core and thinly slice the pears. Squeeze lemon juice over the slices to prevent them from discolouring. It is important to have the pears ready before preparing the caramel.

3.  Place the frying pan over a low heat and add the butter, sugar and the preserved ginger syrup (or honey and grated ginger). Allow the butter and sugar to melt and then turn up the heat. Cook until the mixture turns golden. Do not worry if the butter separates from the sugar. It will all come back together again in the end. Swirl the pan to mix the caramel so that it colours evenly. Remove from the heat as soon as it becomes a rich golden colour. Slide the pear slices immediately into the caramel, spreading them as evenly as possible. Take great care not to cause any splashes with the hot liquid or to touch the caramel.

4. Using an electric beater, cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl  until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs together in a small bowl and add the eggs little by little, beating between each addition. Add the baking powder, flour and ground almonds as well as the ginger syrup (or honey and ginger) and fold into the mixture. Place spoonfuls of the mixture at intervals on top of the pears and then spread this out to cover the pears completely. Place in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. Test by inserting a skewer into the centre. When the skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

5. Loosen the sides of the cake with a knife. Place a serving plate (or board), slightly larger than the cake, on top of the pan. Lift the plate and the pan together, holding both tightly, and flip them over sharply (use a cloth to protect your lower hand from any dribbling juices). Lift off the pan. Serve with some crème fraîche or ice cream and enjoy!

Recipe by Lynda Booth at Dublin Cookery School.

Miss out on the first video in this series? You can watch it here!