When I saw this recipe for Caramelized Pear Cake from a 2000 edition of Bon Appetit, I rushed right out to get what I needed to make it in my dutch oven. I would definitely categorize this cake as cook-off worthy, it's not only visually impressive but the aroma of ginger and cinnamon makes you positively heady.
First I mixed the batter, lit my coals, then quickly peeled and arranged the pears for the topping. You may want to slice and place them with more precision than I did, especially if you're trying to impress the judges. The cake baked in my 10 inch oven with 10 briquettes in a ring around the bottom, 16 in a ring around the edge of the lid with 6 spaced evenly in the center. After 20 minutes I removed 2 of the center coals and in exactly 40 minutes my tester came out clean and the cake was done.
Once you have your ingredients organized, it's really not that difficult to make and infinitely better than a packaged mix. One of the absolute best recipes I've made so far in my dutch oven, the cake is so moist and with a hint of ginger, cinnamon and orange, topped with sweetened fresh pears, it's a definite blue ribbon winner.
Caramelized Pear Cake
6 Tblsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
4 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tblsp minced crystallized ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated orange peel
1 cup grated peeled Bosc pears (about 2 medium)
Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper.
Pour melted butter into prepared dutch oven.
Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar.
Arrange sliced pears in flower design atop sugar, cutting some pieces to fit center if necessary.
Whisk flour, 2/3 cup sugar, crystallized ginger, cinnamon, ground ginger, baking soda and salt in medium bowl until well combined.
Whisk eggs, oil, vanilla and orange peel in large bowl to blend.
Mix in grated pears.
Mix dry ingredients into egg mixture.
Carefully pour batter over pears in dutch oven.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until cake tester inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool cake in dutch oven for 30 minutes.
Carefully lift cake out of oven using parchment paper and invert onto plate.
|Arrange pear slices over melted butter and brown sugar