by Tracy MacMaster, photo by Paul Christensen
The sun is blazing, and the leaves are beginning to show their colours. The market is packed with tree fruits – peaches and nectarines are making way for apples and pears. Despite the passing of summer, fall is worth celebrating. Nothing says celebration like cake, so try this simple Pear Upside-Down Cottage Cake for dessert tonight.
For the pan:
2 tablespoons of butter
½ cup of brown sugar, packed
1 pear, thinly sliced
For the cake:
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 & 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, or cinnamon or ground coriander
Optional: freshly grated lemon or orange zest or 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 C. Place the 2 tablespoons of butter in an 8” square or round the pan and melt in the oven briefly – 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and evenly sprinkle the bottom of the pan with ½ cup brown sugar. Arrange pear slices in a pleasing pattern over the sugar.
In a bowl, beat together oil, sugar, milk and eggs and vanilla if using. Beat in flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg, stiring just until smooth. Pour evenly over pear mixture, bake until sides of cake pull slightly away from the pan and top has started to brown, approximately 20-25 minutes. Let cool briefly in the pan. To serve, loosen the sides with a knife, and invert onto a plate, pear side up. Serve warm, with Greek yogurt or whipped cream if you have some.