"Keep your face to the sunshine
and you cannot see the shadow.
It's what sunflowers do."
~ Helen Keller
UPSIDE-DOWN PEAR SKILLET CAKE
~ Another treasured autumn treat from 1991 issue of Bon Appetit
('Baking a cake in a skillet is a time-honored tradition. French cooks use one for tarte Tatin, which this dessert resembles; here in the U>S> it was the way to go with pineapple upside-down cakes back in the fifties.")
1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces
1 1/3 cups AP flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup corn or vegetable oil
1 small, unpeeled, coarsely grated pear
1 Tbsp. grated peeled fresh ginger (1 tsp. ground)
4 peeled, cored pears (cut into 6 wedges)
good vanilla/vanilla bean ice cream
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350-degrees.
- Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over bottom of heavy 12-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) with 2 1/2 inch high sides. Add butter pieces to skillet. Place skillet in oven until butter melts, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in bowl. Using electric mixer, beat in eggs, and oil. Mix in grated pear and ginger.
- Remove skillet from oven; whisk butter and sugar until sugar dissolves. Arrange pear wedges in skillet in flower pattern, fitting wedges closely together and placing any remaining wedges in center. Pour batter over pears, spreading evenly. Bake until cake is springy to touch and tester inserted into center comes our clean, about 1 hour.
- Transfer skillet to rack and cool 20 minutes. Loosen edges of cake with knife. Place large plate over skillet. Using oven mitts, firmly grasp plate and skillet. Carefully invert skillet, turning out cake onto plate. Remove skillet. Serve cake warm with ice cream. (12 servings)