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Pear-Almond Upside-Down Cake

Yield 10 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)
An ovenproof nonstick skillet works as well as cast-iron. You can substitute apples for the pears to vary the flavor of this cake.


  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 peeled Anjou or Bosc pears, cored and each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Nutrition Information

  • calories 302
  • caloriesfromfat 31 %
  • fat 10.4 g
  • satfat 5 g
  • monofat 3.7 g
  • polyfat 0.9 g
  • protein 4.1 g
  • carbohydrate 49.7 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • cholesterol 62 mg
  • iron 1.3 mg
  • sodium 217 mg
  • calcium 62 mg

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.

  2. Combine the almonds and powdered sugar in a food processor; pulse 8 times or until finely chopped.

  3. Heat corn syrup and 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat until butter melts. Stir in brown sugar, and cook 1 minute or until bubbly. Remove from heat. Arrange pear slices spokelike in pan, working from center of pan to edge; sprinkle with cherries. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until syrupy, gently shaking pan occasionally (do not stir).

  4. While pears cook, place granulated sugar and 1/3 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 4 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine almond mixture, flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to egg mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; stir with a rubber spatula just until blended. Stir in extracts. Gently spoon batter over pears, spreading evenly. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Run a sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen cake. Place a plate upside down on top of pan; carefully invert cake onto the plate.