1 1/4 sticks butter, at room temperature, divided
3/4 cup packed brown sugar or sucanat
2 anjou pears, peeled, cored and sliced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
powdered sugar to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a cast iron skillet, brown two tablespoons (1/4 stick) of the butter over medium high heat. Be careful not to burn! Swirl the butter until melted.
3. After the butter has browned, add the brown sugar and cook for three minutes over medium heat, until the caramel is smooth and creamy. The butter and sugar may look like they are separated - that’s ok!
4. Pour caramel into a nine inch cake pan and set aside.
5. Arrange the pear slices in the cake pan in a peerty little design, sprinkle with lemon juice and set aside.
6. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and spices) and set aside.
7. In a separate bowl, cream together the rest of the butter (1 stick) with the granulated sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, while continuing to beat.
8. Add the vanilla extract and then the dry ingredients, alternately with the milk. Beat until light and fluffy.
9. Spread cake batter over pears and bake for forty minutes. Let cake cool in the pan for a few minutes before saying a prayer and turning over onto a large plate.
10. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to make even more peerty and serve.
Nutrition Notes: Pears are related to apples and are good sources of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and copper. Studies have shown that as a pear gets more and more ripe, its antioxidant levels rise. Also, pear skin contains the majority of the fruits’ antioxidants, so for the full benefits the fruit should always be eaten with the skin. Pears are a hypoallergenic fruit, and are the only fruit allowed on elimination diets used to test allergy sufferers. This also makes pears and pear juice safer to serve to small children because they are less likely to produce allergic reactions.
Taste Test: This cake was moist and delicious. I love pears and pear cakes. The caramel topping was very good and not overly sweet. Perfect with a hot cup of tea!