Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Upside-down Pear and Blueberry Cake

I've been given some windfall Conference pears which, although bruised in places, are still so hard that they are never going to ripen for eating. Fortunately, I love pears in any form and both Hubs and CT will eat them cooked. I toyed with the ideas of a chocolate or gingerbread upside down cake, but decided in the end to be a little more subtle; I flavoured the cake batter with orange zest, and added some dried blueberries soaked in orange juice, too.

I basically followed this recipe from Nigel Slater, although I quartered the pears before cooking, as there were so many bruises to cut away. I needed to use 4 pears to get enough quarters to fill the base of the cake tin. I made the cake batter by the all-in-one method, using SR flour and just beating all the ingredients together, adding the grated zest of a medium orange, plus 50g of dried blueberries which had soaked in orange juice for 2 hours. I used the unabsorbed orange juice instead of the tablespoon of milk in the recipe.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of using a springform tin, and most of the honey flavoured sauce, which should have formed round the pears, ended up on the oven floor. Despite that, the cake was still very tasty, with just the slightest hint of honey still being noticeable, and the orange flavour complimenting the pears and blueberries very well. The pear juices made the sponge very moist although it still seemed quite light; this is definitely a dessert type of cake, best served with whipped cream or a spoonful of natural yogurt.

10 comments:

Foodycat said...

Beautiful! I do love upside down cakes. I made a very successful pear & ginger self-saucing pudding on the weekend, also to answer the rock-hard pear question!

Joanna said...

tis the season of rock hard pears! If it is any consolation when I did the upside down plum cake I even lined the springform tin with foil and the juice somehow found its way out.... That looks really dressy, the sort of cake I'd love to have for dessert if I ever went out, well posh!

Dan had a recipe a while back for a pear pastis ? Did you try that one? I keep meaning to....

@ Foodycat, like the sound of a self saucing pudding :)

Suelle said...

Thanks for the reminder about that pie, Joanna. I have some brik sheets in the freezer, as well as some more hard pears (although I was thinking of a pear and chocolate frangipane tart!).

I like the sound of Foodycat's pudding too!

Maria♥ said...

That pear upside down cake looks gorgeous!

Maria
x

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

That looks so moist on the top. Never considered pear and blueberry combination..but I'm sure it would be divine.

snowy said...

It looks delicious; great combination.
When I made a plum one recently, I also used a springform tin and there was lots of juice in the bottom of the oven.

Suelle said...

Snowy - it sounds as if some of us have a good case for treating ourselves to a new cake tin. Nearly all mine are loose-bottomed or springform now!

C said...

That looks really good - really smart! I love the way you've arranged the pears on the bottom.

I've had the leaking fruit juice problem before now, it's really irritating. Dan Lepard's recipe for Stone fruit yogurt cake says to line the inside of the tin with foil. I also put a circle of parchment on the base. It doesn't make for neat edges, but the juices are contained better!

figjamandlimecordial.com said...

That looks magnificently moist, Suelle, even if the pan leaked everywhere. Don't you hate it when it does that? I've only just discovered Nigel Slater - it's nice to know his recipes work! :)

Nora said...

What a beautiful cake! And thanks for reminding me that it's been far too long since I baked with pears. Yummy.