Pear-ginger upside-down cake
3 tbs butter, at room temperature
¼ cup Demerara sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
4-5 medium to large ripe pears, peeled, cored, and quartered lengthwise
For the batter:
8 ounces butter, at room temperature
½ cup Demerara sugar
2 tbs peeled, grated ginger
5 tbs maple syrup or honey
¼ cup Muscovado sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk
Oil a 9-inch spring form pan, and line the bottom with a 10-inch circle of parchment paper.
Combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Melt the butter over medium heat for about 1 minute.
Pour the mixture into the prepared spring form pan, completely coating the parchment paper.
Place the quartered pears on top of the butter-sugar mixture, lining the pieces up tightly in a decorative circle.
In a large mixing bowl cream butter (cut into smaller pieces) and brown sugar for 3-5 minutes, until smooth.
Add the grated ginger, and beat 1 minute more.
Add the eggs one at a time,making sure that each egg is fully incorporated before adding another.
Add in the maple syrup or honey and beat to fully mix. The mixture will look as though it is “breaking” or curdling, but it will come together when the dry ingredients are added.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to fully combine.
Alternately add small amounts of flour and buttermilk to the batter, stirring and folding with a rubber spatula until the dry ingredients are just absorbed. Do not overmix the batter.
Pour and scrape the batter into the pear-lined pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake the cake at 325˚F for about 1 hour and 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the cake’s centre comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
Cover the pan with a serving plate; then carefully invert them together. Release the sides of the pan, and lift it away. Gently lift the pan’s base off the cake, and peel away the parchment paper.
Allow the cake to cool, and serve warm.