Pear-Ginger Upside Down Cake

“An’ I had but one penny in the world, thou should’st have it to buy ginger-bread.”
— William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour Lost

Ginger is one of the tastes of the winter season.  I planned to make some gingerbread, but as I was browsing my recipes, I found this one for a Pear-Ginger Upside-Down Cake, copied from the Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook.  We love the more traditional Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, so I thought this might be a tasty variation.  We are hard-pressed to choose which we like better, although the pear version must be eaten warm.  From now on, I’ll mark both as favorites!

Arranging pears in the bottom of the pan

It fell out of the pan, upside-down onto my plate, with no trouble.

First bite -- yummy

Pear-Ginger Upside-Down Cake
from the Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook

Pear-Ginger Topping
1/4 c butter or margarine
2/3 c packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 pears, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges (I used canned pears)
1/4 c finely chopped crystallized ginger

Cake
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 c finely chopped crystallized ginger
1-1/3 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c packed brown sugar
6 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c milk

1.  Heat oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease bottom and sides of 8- or 9-inch pan with shortening.  In 1-quart saucepan, melt 1/4 c butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Stir in 2/3 c brown sugar.  Heat to boiling; remove from heat.  Stir in 1/2 tsp ground ginger.  Pour into pan; spread evenly.  Arrange pear wedges on sugar mixture, overlapping tightly and making 2 layers if necessary.  Sprinkle 1/4 c crystallized ginger over pears.

2.  In small bowl, toss 1 Tbsp flour and 1/4 c crystallized ginger to coat; set aside.  In another small bowl, mix 1-1/3 c flour, the baking powder and salt; set aside.  In large bowl, beat 1 c brown sugar and 6 Tbsp butter with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, until smooth.  Add vanilla.  Gradually beat in flour mixture alternately with milk.  Stir in ginger-flour mixture.  Spread over pears in pan.

3.  Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Cool 15 minutes on wire rack.  then loosen edges of cake with small knife.  Place heatproof plate upside down onto pan; turn plate and pan over.  Serve warm with ginger whipped cream.

Ginger Whipped Cream (I served with vanilla ice cream instead)
1 c whipping (heavy cream)
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger

In chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream on high speed until it begins to thicken.  Gradually add granulated sugar and 1/4 tsp ground ginger, beating until soft peaks form.