Upside-down pear cake with cinnamon ice cream
- October 2011
- Serves 6
- 25 minutes to make, 1 hour to cook
An easy pear cake, topped with cinnamon ice cream – made all the more fun by being upside-down. A delicious combination of autumnal flavours to bring your afternoon tea to life.
- 30g (18.7g saturated)
- 106.2g (83.5g sugars)
- 375g caster sugar
- 150g butter, softened
- 200g self-raising flour
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 4 pears, peeled, halved and cored
For the ice cream
- 100g light brown sugar
- 2 large free-range egg whites
- Pinch of cream of tartar
- 150ml double cream, whipped
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- To make the ice cream, place the sugar and 100ml water in a saucepan, then heat slowly, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat and boil fiercely for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens to the thread stage: dip a spoon in, then take it out; the syrup will run off with the last few drops forming a syrupy thread. (Alternatively, simply boil the mixture until a sugar thermometer reaches 110°C.)
- Meanwhile, using an electric hand mixer, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff. Still whisking, gradually pour in the hot syrup in a thin stream and continue to whisk for about 4-5 minutes until the mixture is cool, glossy and stiff.
- Fold in the whipped cream and ground cinnamon, then put in a container to freeze overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan150°C/gas 3½. Put 200g of the sugar and 125ml water into an ovenproof 25cm sauté or frying pan. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then turn up the heat and cook without stirring until the syrup caramelises to a golden brown, swirling the pan to even it out if necessary.
- Meanwhile, watching the caramel, put the butter, the remaining sugar and flour into the bowl of an electric food processor, whizz for a couple of seconds, then add the eggs and stop as soon as the mix comes together. (If you don’t have a food processor, cream the butter and sugar by hand, adding the eggs one by one, then mix in the flour.)
- Take the caramel off the heat and carefully arrange the pears cut-side down in a single layer over the caramel (this will be the top of the cake when it’s cooked).
- Spread the cake mixture in an even layer over the pears in the pan, then bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. The centre should be firm to the touch, the edges should have shrunk a little from the sides of the pan and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake will come out clean.
- Run a knife around the edges to make sure it hasn’t stuck anywhere. Leave it to sit for 2 minutes before turning out. Serve with a scoop or two of the cinnamon ice cream.
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