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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pear Upside Down Cake

Hi, it's me again! I wasn't expecting to be back so soon, but I was told in no uncertain terms that this cake recipe should be shared, so here it is.

When my first daughter was born some 9 years ago, I was looking for an alternative to the messy standard First Birthday fare. I wanted her first cake to be special... maybe even slightly healthy... but not too much. In a stroke of brilliance, I decided to try a spice cake made with pears and thus all four of our children have had Pear Upside Down Cake for their first birthdays. One year I tried frosting it with cream cheese frosting, but that was no good. This year I think I finally got it right. The tangy brightness of homemade raspberry freezer jam was the perfect foil for the sweetness of the cake.

Maren's Pear Upside Down Cake
(Makes 2 cakes*, 8 slices each)

1 box of Duncan Hines Spice Cake mix (see, it's not health food)
1/2 cup applesauce
3 eggs
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp ginger

2 pears
1/2 cup light brown sugar

Raspberry freezer jam, regular raspberry jam, or raspberries for topping

Heat oven to 350º. Mix the cake ingredients together on low to blend, then on medium for 2 full minutes. Grease and flour or spray two 9 inch round cake pans (layer pans). Core and peel the pears and cut into slices or pieces. Spread the pears and brown sugar evenly in the bottom of the pans. Top with cake batter, spreading evenly, shaking lightly and tapping to remove trapped air.

Bake the cakes for 30 minutes or until the center springs back when touched and cake pulls away from the edges of the pans. Cool, invert onto 2 plates. Serve with raspberry sauce or fresh berries on top of each slice.

*If you don't need 16 servings at once, you can wrap one cake tightly in plastic wrap and then foil and store it in the freezer.

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