This glistening beauty is topped with pears and is delectably spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. This is the cake that I think of when I think of afternoon teas at home with friends over. With a final dusting of edible rose petals and your prettiest china, there won't be a crumb left of this beauty! I called her Primrose.
I modelled this cake on one that I had at Cherry Moon General Store and Café and wanted to eat and see again. Does that sound weird? I just wanted to see this cake again because it was so pretty and I also wanted to eat it because we had too many pears in our fridge.
We've been busy seeing everyone over the past few months and caught up with Miss America and Queen Viv over lunch for Miss America's birthday. Queen Viv has had a tough year with five of her friends passing away. Miss America needs to go back into hospital to get a heart bypass which his doctor picked up post-stroke. They're like my parents in a funny way although Queen Viv is much saucier than my actual mother would ever be. I think I resemble Queen Viv more than my mother in personality although she might be more raunchy than I!
We bought Miss America a gift with his upcoming hospital visit in mind. It was some nice hand cream and a book called Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, one of my favourite books (Miss America also wanted to be an advice columnist at one stage).
"I bought him a book too!" said Queen Viv and she showed me what she bought him. It was a book by Tom of Finland. If you're unfamiliar with the Tom of Finland series, while it may sound like a children's book series it is not. They are highly masculinized homoerotic fetish drawings that are stunning but X (or R?) rated. "It's HIGHLY pornographic!" said the elegant Queen Viv raising her eyebrows and giving me a stern look which relaxed into a smirk and wink. She flipped open the book and showed me the contents.
I looked at the book that I gave Miss America and felt like that paled in comparison!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever want to see or eat an item again so you make it at home? Are you the sauciest person in your friendship group?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
Pear Spice Upside Down Cake
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 3-4 pears (depending on size)
- 200g/7ozs butter (divided into 150g/5oz. and 50g/1.7oz)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1.5 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup caster or superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- Edible petals and thyme to decorate
Step 1 - Grease and line a 20cm/8inch round pan (don't use a springform as it will leak batter). Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Place the 50g/1.7ozs butter in a saucepan with the 1/2 cup brown sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer until you get a caramel. Spoon into the prepared tin and set aside.
Step 2 - Wash and peel pears. Cut in half and remove the seeds with a melon baller. Gently toss in lemon juice.
Step 3 - Beat the rest of the butter with the baking powder, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup caster sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and lemon zest. Beat for 3 minutes or so.
Step 4 - In a jug whisk the eggs and buttermilk together. Then add to the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Place the pears smooth side down (that is facing up when the cake is upturned) and then spread over with the cake batter.
Step 5 - Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in tin. Slide a knife around the edge and place on serving plate (tip if your cake has a dome on the top, trim it so that doesn't buckle and crack upwards when you upend it). Sprinkle with icing sugar and decorate with edible flower petals and lemon thyme leaves.