Caramelized Pear Cake


3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 pears, peeled, cored, and quartered
1 cup flour
1/3 cups sugar
2 tbsp crystallized ginger, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
¾ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
2 eggs
¼ cup applesauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp almond extract
¾ cup grated pears (about 1 whole pear)
¼ cup sliced almonds


Melt butter and brown sugar in a medium sized ovenproof skillet over medium heat. (We used an 8-inch nonstick, but stainless works just fine.) Lay the pears in the bottom of the skillet. If the pears are quite firm and underripe, allow them to cook in the caramel mixture for 5 minutes, then remove from heat. If pears are ripe, they can go directly into the pan without additional cooking.

Whisk the flour, sugar, crystallized ginger, fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, oil, almond extract, and grated pears. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to form a thick batter. Dollop the batter over the pears, spreading gently. The batter may not cover the entire pan, which is just fine. Sprinkle with almonds and bake at 350 degrees until cake is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20-30 minutes, depending on pan size and depth. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes and invert onto a plate. Cut into wedges and serve.
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