A Pairing of Pears
Blog: Living Well
October 2, 2009
Yesterday at our weekly Farmers' Market Picnic we ended the pot luck feast with a delicious, if unusual, cake apparently prepared with pared pears paired with cornmeal and rosemary. Although our appetites were somewhat impaired by the hearty and spicy chili and cornbread, we all managed to do justice to the cake, especially when we topped it with whipped cream. We compared it with other pear cakes we had prepared which had not been paired with rosemary and declared it incomparable.
The recipe is from The Herb Farm Cookbook, by Jerry Traunfeld, Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, March 2000
Pear Rosemary Upside Down Cake
Set oven at 350°F
. Stir together in 10 inch pie pan or skillet: ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted 1 ½ Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary.
Arrange in a circle in the pan on top of the above ingredients:
3 medium-sized ripe pears, peeled & quartered (I love Bartlett but any good cooking pear will work)
Bake 15 minutes, or until pears are soft and lots of syrup has formed. While the pears bake, beat the following until fluffy and smooth: 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened ¾ cup sugar
Beat in one at a time:
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 large eggs
Sift together in separate bowl, and then add to above mixture until incorporated:
1 cup all-purpose flour (white spelt flour works great also!)
½ stone-ground yellow cornmeal
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Add to batter and beat on medium for one minute: 2/3 cup buttermilk
Pour batter over hot pears and their syrup. Return the pan/skillet to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. The top should be golden brown and spring back when you press the center. Let cool for 5 minutes, then invert on a platter. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with whipped cream (though it’s great plain, too).
And if you like a delicious, pear-scented dessert wine with your pear cake, you might try Napeequa Vintners Ice Wine, well-chilled.
"Elegantly fresh with hints of pear and subtle spice, this wine is the perfect companion for fruit tarts or morsels of dark chocolate," -- or for pear upside down cake. 95 cases 375 ml