A few days ago a good friend brought over a cake she made using the the recipe from
the novel, Eat Cake, by Jeanne Ray
. It was an Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake and the best gingerbread I've had in decades. It's cooked in a 10 " cast iron skillet and uses LOTS of molasses in the recipe. I had her send me the recipe but wonder if anyone has made this cake? She says she has trouble turning it out of the pan - it often sticks. Any suggestions before I get started?
2½ firm pears (e.g. Bosc)
½ stick butter
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp cloves
¼ tsp salt
1 cup molasses
1 cup boiling water
1 stick (½ cup) butter, softened
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
Peel and core the pears and cut each into 8 wedges. Melt butter in skillet over
moderate heat until foam subsides. Reduce heat to low, then sprinkle brown
sugar over bottom of skillet and cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes (not all sugar
will be melted). Arrange pears decoratively over sugar and cook, undisturbed,
2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Whisk together
molasses and boiling water in bowl. Beat together butter, brown
sugar, and egg in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until
creamy, about 2 minutes, then alternately mix in flour mixture and molasses
in 3 batches until smooth.
Pour batter over topping in skillet, spreading evenly and being careful not to
disturb pears, and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, 40-
50 minutes. Cool cake in skillet on a rack 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around
edge of skillet, then invert onto large plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.