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While I am not overly thrilled that summer has ended and we are staring down the barrel of another winter, there is some comfort in the new foods that a new season brings.

I recently had my cousins M & M over for dinner and it was a perfect opportunity to try this caramel pear upside down cake, originally from The Age’s Good Weekend (I can’t find the link online). I made a few tweaks to the recipe (including converting it to spelt flour) and it was very successful – particularly when served still warm, with lashings of cream.


Cake topping

200g caster sugar
3 large pears (I used brown pears), cored, peeled and cut in half
20g butter
50g walnuts

  • Prepare a springform tin.
  • Find a saucepan that is large enough to fit the pear halves in a single layer. Heat the sugar over high heat until it becomes a light, golden liquid.
  • Add the pears, and cook, shaking occasionally, until the pears are soft and cooked all the way through. Turn them over halfway through the cooking. Note that this took ages for me – about 30 minutes.
  • Scoop the pears out (careful not to burn yourself on the caramel) and arrange in the tin, along with the chopped nuts.
  • Increase the heat and when the caramel is dark brown, add butter. Tip this over the pears.


The cake

150g caster sugar
150g softened butter
4 eggs
50g almond meal
1 tsp ground cardamom
200g self raising flour (or 240g spelt flour plus 2 tsp baking powder)
100g natural yoghurt

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until light, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • Fold in the almond meal and cardamom.
  • Fold in half the flour.
  • Fold in the yoghurt.
  • Fold in the remaining flour.
  • Gently spoon the mixture into the tin, over the pears, being careful not to press down too hard. The mixture is quite thick.

  • Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Place a baking tray underneath the tin to catch any splatters of caramel.
  • Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before serving.
  • Invert the cake and serve with cream.


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3 Responses to “Autumnal food: caramel pear and pecan upside down cake”

  1. Saskia says:

    This looks SO good! I love a fruity cake!

  2. Oh my. This looks superb!

  3. Emily says:

    Yes it was a good cake. I took it into the office the following day and I was very popular.

    It is reasonably dense, but the poached pear adds some moisture and as I said, it was great with cream. It has quite a strong cardamom flavour which was great.

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