Sunday, 15 November 2009

Pear and almond upside down cake

This was meant to be a plum and almond upside down cake but my supermarket let me down and didn’t have any tinned plums....yes, I’m naming and shaming you, Tesco! So I improvised with these beautiful Cape pears.

I made two of these cakes and had a piece of one at room temperature (delicious – spongy and sticky and fruit) and then one warmed a little and served with hot custard (also delicious). The CCB (Caked Crusader’s Brother) commented that the sponge was so light it had the taste of a steamed sponge pudding.

One tip if you make this; line both the inside and outside of the tin with non-stick foil. When the cake cooks the caramel becomes rather runny and will leak out over your oven given the opportunity. I say this from bitter experience – I only lined the outside of the tin – and spent some frantic time sponging thick caramel off the oven floor and shelves. It’s worth it though – look at the sticky pear:

Another tip would be to use more fruit than I did. I used 240g of pears (drained weight) and would double this next time.

Use any fruit you wish, I’m sure it would work. Ok, maybe not olives or tomatoes but I’m sure you understand what I’m saying. I think peaches, cherries, plums (boo to Tesco), apples, pineapple, bananas - I could go on – would all work well

For the caramel:

50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
110g soft brown sugar

For the cake:
480g drained fruit of your choice – I used Cape pears
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
275g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
110g self raising flour
110g plain flour
180ml milk
120g ground almonds

To serve:
Thick cream or custard


- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

- Wrap a 20cm loose bottomed square tin with non-stick foil – inside and out. Take your time to ensure that there are no gaps through which the molten caramel can seep.

- Start by making the caramel: place the butter and sugar in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has melted and you have a smooth rich caramel.

- Pour into the base of the cake tin.

- Arrange your fruit in the caramel taking care not to burn your fingers. Put to one side.

- Now make the cake: Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.

- Beat in the eggs one at a time.

- Stir in both the flours and the milk in two batches i.e. half the flour, half the milk, half the flour, half the milk.

- Stir in the ground almonds.

- Spoon the batter over the fruit taking care not to disturb it.

- Level the mixture in the tin and bake for approximately 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

- Leave to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn the cake out (invert it i.e. so it cools how you will serve it with the fruit on top). It is very important to do this while the cake is still hot otherwise the caramel will set making it difficult to get out of the tin.

- Serve either warm with custard or at room temperature with thick cream.

- Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.

- Eat.


Jacqueline said...

That looks great and you must be psychic! I was about to start making a similar cake, that I saw hugh fearnley whittingstall make. If my cake doesn't turn out well, I will be sure to turn to your recipe. It looks fab!

C said...

It looks lovely - really soft and moist! I know what you mean about escaping caramel - I had that happen to me recently with an upside down fruit cake! It's very annoying, but I'm glad the cake was worth it!

Choclette said...

Looks and sounds scrummy.

Joy said...

So sticky and yummy!

Katie said...

Ohh that looks wonderful and perfect for this time of year. You can't beat hot spongy puddings when its cold and raining. The caramel sounds yummy

Margaret said...

Fabulous - tinned fruit is always a great thing to have in the storecupboard - especially if you like puds!

Lucie said...

This looks amazing. I think the pears appeal to me more than plums - so this is a real hit for me! Great bake. Lucie x

Cakelaw said...

Yum!!! A fruity dessert with the words "caramel" and "custard" - what more could a girl want!