Pear and Maple Upside-Down Cake

This Pear and Maple cake was made during my daughter's graduation weekend and the plan was to do a Pear and Polenta Cake, but didn't think that would go over big with my daughter and our guests. I had never made a Pear and Polenta cake before and although I think I would love the texture, not sure others would, so with the four D'anjou pears I had for "the other" cake, I decided to piece together a few recipes and add and delete techniques to come up with the type of cake I thought would be a winner. I also wanted to incorporate some pure maple that I had used for another recipe and I figured with pears and ice cream, why couldn't this be a good summer cake? The big mistake that I made was using an 8 inch spring form pan, I knew as soon as I poured the abundant amount of batter in the pan that I seriously underestimated the size of the pan.  I also did not factor in that I would be using 4 pears, instead of 3 because the pears were ripe and I needed to use them all.  I had lots of cooking and graduation activities this weekend and I will use this as an excuse for not thinking properly. I won't discuss the other times I mess up and it doesn't go on the blog, but who has time to read about failed recipes. As I said before, they must be "blog worthy". The pan size did effect the cooking time , which ended up being longer and also caused a bit of anxiety on my part because who wants to waste their time and ingredients on a cake that can't be posted....again.  I used a piece of aluminum to cover the cake at one point because I was nervous that the cake top would burn before it cooked all the way through. This seemed to work. The cake was absolutely delicious, melt in your mouth moist and a bit spicy with the ginger. This cake rocked the house on it's own, but with ice cream it was seriously ridiculous. I will definitely be making this cake again very a bigger pan.
You can use 1 cup of regular syrup in place of pure maple and corn syrup

3 Pears - ripe, peeled and sliced 1/4 inches
15 tbs unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
1/2 c. Brown sugar
1/2 corn syrup
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup whole milk
(Ice Cream or Whipped Cream optional)

Pear and Maple topping:
In a saucepan, melt 3 tbs unsalted butter, stir in 1/2 c. pure maple syrup, 1/2 c. Brown sugar, 1/2 c. corn syrup, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp. ginger stirring until all ingredients are dissolved. Bring to a boil for a minute and remove from heat.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ginger. In a large bowl, with a mixer set on high speed, beat the remaining 12 tablespoons butter and the granulated sugar until fluffy. Reduce the speed to low; 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.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray sides of a 9 inch spring form pan lined with parchment paper. I think a 9 inch baking pan would work fine. Add brown sugar/maple mixture to bottom of pan, arrange pear slices overlapping around the pan in a circle and add a few slices to middle. Spoon batter over top of cake and smooth over. Bake for approximately 50 minutes checking cake with a toothpick. Top of cake tends to crust a bit which makes it hard to determine whether it is done.  Let cake rest and cool for 10 minutes and run a knife around edges and invert on a cake plate.


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