Pear and Cranberry Upside Down Cake
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- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, divided
- 2 eggs
- 3 firm pears (about 1 ½ pounds), cored and cut into 1/4-inch wedges
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh or dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 10-inch ovenproof skillet and set it aside for later use.
- 2. In the skillet over medium-high heat, stir the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of the butter until melted. Add the pears and saute until they are fork-tender and start to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Carefully pour the pears and their juices into a large bowl and allow to cool slightly. Wipe skillet clean and dry well.
- 3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
- 4. In a large bowl with a mixer set on high speed, beat remaining 12 tablespoons butter and the granulated sugar until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and beat in the eggs and vanilla until well blended. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat just until blended.
- 5. Coat the skillet with vegetable spray or butter and place the precut parchment paper inside. Arrange the pear wedges in overlapping circles on top, then pour remaining pear juice over the pears and scatter the cranberries around the pan. Carefully spoon the batter over the fruit and spread the mixture evenly with a rubber spatula.
- 6. Bake the cake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- 7. Run a thin knife around the edges of the skillet, invert the cake onto a serving plate, and remove the parchment paper. Serve the cake by itself or with ice cream, whipped cream or creme fraiche.