Cardamom Pear Upside Down Cake


Courtesy of the very talented Robin Leventhal
½ cup + 2Tbls butter, melted
4 large eggs
½ cup olive oil
1/8th cup orange juice
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
1 ¼ cup sugar
3 each Bosc pears
1 cup AP flour
1 ½ cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt, kosher
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp zest of orange
1 tsp zest of lemon
½ tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 350F.

Prepare a 10-12” skillet at least 3” deep with butter, dust with flour and line bottom with a round of parchment paper to release the caramelized pear bottom when done baking.
Peel & core pears
In another skillet add 2 Tbls butter, ¼ cup sugar, pomegranate molasses & orange juice, bring to a boil.
Cook pears in this syrup on medium heat, approximately 3 minutes on each side.
Place the pears cut side down evenly spaced on the parchment lined skillet and pour the molasses caramel over them allowing a bit to go under each pear to ensure they each look caramelized when flipped.
Set this skillet in the fridge to set up (or outside if you have cold winters like we do here in Walla Walla)
In a small mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, soda, baking powder, salt and cardamom)
In a large mixing bowl cream the eggs, remaining sugar and zest until light and fluffy with a hand mixer, about 4 minutes.Add the almond extract and then the dry ingredients in two additions, mix well, then stream in the olive oil and melted butter until silky and incorporated.
Pour cake batter over chilled pears and bake for approximately 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden.
Let set up for a few minutes before flipping, but don’t wait too long. I let mine stand about 10 minutes
Your serving platter should be just wider than the pan’s rim.
Placing the platter, presentation side down and with one palm on the back of the platter and oven mitt hand on the bottom of the skillet, quickly flip them over, sandwiched between your hands.
This only requires a little dexterity and a lot of “yes I can” spirit! You got this!
Now got get yourself a few pears and win the hearts of your guest with this irresistible moist cake that indecently makes wonderful leftovers for breakfast!

Serving Suggestions: dust with a little powder sugar, top with a dollop of whipped cream (I put a tiny amount of vanilla extract, pinch of cardamom and powder sugar in mine)
Complete the plate with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, rose syrup or simply honey.
Edible flower and pomegranate seeds or zest of an orange would all be lovely additions.
Enjoy, from my heart to yours

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