My best friend lives in NYC. She sent me this recipe from the Times a few weeks back with a note that said, "I know how much you love pears." I guess that means people are noticing the nearly ridiculous volumes of produce!
11 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 to 4 pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (I added this.)
1/2 cup milk.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small pan over medium heat; add maple syrup and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook for another 2 minutes; remove from heat and set aside. When mixture has cooled a bit, pour it into a 9-inch baking pan and arrange pear slices in an overlapping circle on top.
2. With a handheld or standing mixer, beat remaining 8 tablespoons butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one egg at a time, continuing to mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three batches, alternating with milk; do not overmix. Carefully spread batter over pears, using a spatula to make sure it is evenly distributed. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and edges begin to pull away from sides of pan, about 45 to 50 minutes; a toothpick inserted into center should come out clean. Let cake cool for 5 minutes.
4. Run a knife around edge of pan; put a plate on top of cake and carefully flip it so plate is on bottom and pan is on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.***
Now, real maple syrup is far from the most frugal thing in the world. It just so happens that I knew my mom had some sitting in her pantry that she wouldn't finish. Mom ("Hammy") is super nice, so she let me have it. I will run a good portion of this cake over to her house in return. It's not so bad having your daughter for a neighbor, I suppose!
As far as the baking process was concerned, this cake was really quite easy. The only real problem I had was some of the middle of the cake stuck as a result of not using quite enough pears. I guess I forgot how much they would cook down.
All said, this cake was SUPER delicious. What a great fall treat! We'll totally eat it again. It may even show up on our Thanksgiving menu!
Our Crazy Kitchen, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Tuesdays at the Table, LifeasMom and Mouthwatering Monday.