30 September 2011

Pear and ginger upside-down cake

I've got a LOT of pears at the moment. Last week I was faced with a laden pear tree, a carrier bag and an offer for me to help myself, and I got a bit carried away. So, now I need to find something to do with them before they turn to mush.

I liked the idea of an upside-down cake, and this one is delicious. Most ginger cakes are dark and treacle-y, but this one is quite light, so it's a nice change. Although, if you wanted, you could replace the sponge with a more traditional ginger cake instead.

Pear and ginger upside-down cake
Serves 8

4 ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1tbsp caster sugar
200g butter
2 eggs
250ml milk
350g self-raising flour
1tsp ground ginger
200g soft brown sugar
1tbsp golden syrup
2 pieces preserved stem ginger, finely diced, plus 2tbsp of the syrup

Pre-heat the oven to 150C. Grease and line the base of a 23cm cake tin. Rub a bit more butter on the top side of the baking parchment, then sprinkle over the caster sugar. Lay the pears on top of the sugar in a pretty pattern.

Melt the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup in a pan, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the stem ginger and ginger syrup. Put the pan to one side, and leave the syrup to cool a bit.

Beat the eggs and milk together in a large bowl, then sift in the flour and ginger. Pour in the syrup and mix it all together well.

Pour the cake batter over the pears and bake for for around an hour and a half, or until the cake golden brown, firm and cooked through.

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