Turn that frown(or cake) upside-down…

So the majority of my cookbooks are packed up(it took 21 boxes :P), and that is with me keeping out 22 “just in case” I needed them(is what I told my husband). Yet I still felt compelled to buy a cookbook this week. In my defense, It was pre-ordered so I actually forgot about it. I am a big fan of The Pastry Queen cookbook and have many a wonderful delight from that cookbook, some have even made it onto the blog. So I was very excited to see awhile back that Rebecca Rather(the author) was coming out with another cookbook…with this one focusing on Christmas! Oh happy day. I quickly pre-ordered that baby on Amazon and then forgot. So it was a fun surprise getting it this past week.
This cookbook, like the last one did not disappoint, though it has far few dessert recipes in it, which is fine since, believe it or not, we do eat things around here other than pastry and sweets.
The original recipe leaves the pear in slices(to lazy to make them all pretty) and has a wonderful sounding Amaretto whipped cream. I opted to drizzle caramel over mine since I had it in the fridge and I am trying to clean that out.
We sign our life away today, gulp. Such a surreal feeling, owing all that money to someone. Gulp. We should have our keys on Friday and that is when the fun begins…..


Warm Pear Ginger Upside-Down Cake

½ cup salted butter
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 ripe pears, (I used a red variety that was described as sweet…but forgot the name :P)…the book suggests Anjou or Bartlett
2 TBSP finely chopped candied ginger

To make the topping: Chop pears into a dice, leaving the skins on; set aside. In a medium saucepan combine butter and sugar and bring to a boil. Take off of heat and whisk just to combine and pour into prepared pan.(This recipe calls for a 9 or 10-inch cake pan with sides that are at least 2 inches tall.) Sprinkle pears all over the pan and then followed by candied ginger. Set aside.

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ cup milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 TBSP finely chopped candied ginger

To make the cake: Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat for another 30 seconds. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. To the butter mixture, add the flour mixture in 3 increments, the milk in two, starting and ending with the flour, beating on low speed between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and candied ginger. Pour the batter evenly over the pears. Bake(at 350F) for about 45 minutes if using a 10-inch pan and about 55 minutes for a 9-incher. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and immediately invert onto a large cake plate. Let cool for about 15 minutes.

Adapted from The Pastry Queen Christmas by Rebecca Rather with Alison Oresman

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  1. The Pastry Queen Christmas book is on my wish list, Peabody, and gazing at your Warm Pear Ginger Upside-Down Cake, I am already chomping at the bit to get a copy! Wow…this cake is a beauty! I can imagine how excited you are about your new home, and getting all of those cookbooks settled into your beautiful new kitchen. :-) Best of luck with everything to do with the move.

  2. Wishing you an easy closing and a smooth move into the new house (and new kitchen!)….

  3. A piece of that would certainly make all your blues drift away! Congrats on your new house – homeownership is a wild and crazy ride!

  4. this looks great – as usual (sigh!) good luck with everything, i have moved 5 times in the last 10 years and am feeling with you!

  5. It looks so decadent! A helpful hint for organizing your new kitchen: write down your stuff (dishes, mixing bowls, etc. – not too specific) on post-its and stick them on the cabinets you want to use. It’s much easier to rearrange some little pieces of paper than all your stuff! Congratulation!

  6. I find it amazing that you are buying a house, packing and preparing to move yet still make time to bake. I mean for real baking not like my own dress up a package baking! I could not produce lucious stuff you do if that was ALL I had to do in life. Good luck to you in your closing and move!

  7. I’m “learning” to like pears—and what better way than to try your recipe!

  8. Oh my, that cake looks incredible! Certainly the best way to ease the pain of moving, too! ;)

  9. wow, you’ve packed 21 cookbooks and you STILL have that amount left to pack?? whew!! I have quite a few cookbooks, but nowhere NEAR that amount – yet ;0)

    oooh I like your rendition of this Warm Pear Ginger Upside-Down Cake, with the caramel drizzle – perfect cake to turn a frown upside-down, indeed!

    I wish you the best of luck with all the moving, and with living in your new home – how exciting!!

    **by the way, I responded to your comment on my blog, in your previous post.

  10. Congrats again on you and your hubby’s new home. Are you are anxious to get into that big beautiful kitchen?…I’m sure it will be christened with something delicious. This cake looks so nummy. A little slice of fall. : )

  11. mmm! The cake looks amazing, as all ways.

  12. Absolutely mouth watering…all that caramel is making my head turn!!
    The cookbook sounds very promising and what a great Christmas present!

  13. i’m so impressed! i can’t believe that you are moving and in the midst of it all, still baking up these wonderful treats! this looks sooooo good and i will have to add it to my long list of things to try :)

  14. as usual, it looks amazing. I love the first Pastry Queen cookbook and I can’t wait to get this one. I’m ordering it in 2 weeks after we’ve moved. I can’t wait.

    Congrats on your new house!! Can’t wait to see all the new wonderful concoctions that come out of your fab new kitchen :-)

  15. Totally impressive that you can pack up your house and still make and post these gorgeous recipes…all the while using up things in the fridge. This one is a winner and the caramel sauce seems perfect with it.
    As far as signing your life away, just think of it as an investment…’cuz it is, especially where you live. Cheers!

  16. You are a super woman! Your cake is always wonderful!

  17. This looks really so good. Of course you’d do caramel over this one. Looks like very delicate cake with fantastic pear topping.
    Good luck with the moving! You’ll forget how much you owe soon (except the day you pay the mort each month) because you’ll be enjoying every thing in that new house and kitchen!!

  18. Only one word needed – wow!

  19. Don’t you love when you order something and then forgetting about it? It’s like getting a present in the mail! hehe

    I’m at a loss for words to describe how I feel about this lil cake. How’s about — *swoon*


  20. I love getting stuff in the mail. Anything is good. An unexpected cook book would be mega exciting.

    Your cake looks really delicious. I love anything with ginger.

  21. I am speechless… I love pears, I love ginger, but never thought about pairing them together. Looks soooooo good! I have never seen red pears before. All we have in Quebec is Bartlett. The pear on your picture looks like it’s been covered with red sugar, like candy apples. Cute!

  22. The only thing that comes to mind about this one is YUM!!

    Congrats on your new home!

  23. Hey, sweetie, I can’t wait to see all the delicious stuff you’ll be cooking and baking in the new kitchen!
    This cake is mouthwatering, Pea.

  24. Absolutely sumptuous looking cake. I wish you absolutely all the best in the signing and moving in of your new house. Definitely enjoy it!!!

  25. Just when I thought I was out..Peabody brings me right back with some yummy treats!

  26. So wanting to buy this book and now your giving me a reason to.

  27. Funny story – I had a cookbook with me at work yesterday, and a girl I work with asked me how many cookbooks I own. I told her somewhere between 30 and 40, which I never thought was a large number, but she seemed blown away. Then I went home last night and read your post – 21 boxes!!! I will have to tell the girl I work with – she will think that you are crazy! My husband says he gives me 3 years until I have that many, but by then, you will probably have twice as many!!

  28. 21 boxes!!!!! That’s a LOT of cookbooks. I have just 35…and I feel guilty. Maybe I shouldn’t….and maybe I should show my husband your post when he starts talking about how many cookbooks I have ;)

  29. I really don’t need another cookbook, but this one just might sneak its way into my shelf soon!

  30. The cake looks delicious! I occasionally pick up TPQ’s first cookbook and read it front-to-back like a “real” book :) I can’t wait to get my hands on the new one!

  31. 21 boxes!?! and i thought i had a cookbook collecting ‘problem’…from the looks of that cake, i’d say your latest purchase was a worthwhile addition. how you have managed to make so many great things in the midst of packing up is beyond me! enjoy your first weekend at your new house!!

  32. That looks really good. I really am going to have to try some candied ginger.

  33. Wow, that looks good. This is one of my first visits to your site, and I will certainly be coming back. I love that the last few posts feature baked items with gooey toppings dripping off them, haha! You sure know how to hook those readers!

  34. The number of cake pans, sheet pans, cookie cutters, pie plates, Pyrex, molds, cutters, forms, rolling pins, tart pans, tartlette pans, cookbooks, etc.. I have cake decorating supplies I know I have somewhere, but can’t find after moving. Hmmm….. I have is really beyond the comprehension of most people. You, Peabody, I think would understand my collection. Good luck with your move!

  35. Must be time to go to bed. Too many errors in my last post. :)

  36. For some odd reason, I’m having trouble viewing your posts :[

    The pictures are not showing up; It’s saddens me because I want to see you beautiful creations :]

    21 boxes???!
    Oh my goodness XD

  37. Another delicious looking dessert! And wow I am so jealous that you have 21 boxes of cookbooks!

  38. Stunning cake! I’ve ordered the PQ Christmas from amazon.com (as opposed to .uk)and am waiting patiently for it to arrive. It’s not available here for a few weeks yet… I even keener to get it now!

  39. That looks INCREDIBLE!! I have been barred from buying any more cookbooks until we have a bigger place, but I’m going to have to get that, I’ll keep at work if I must! :) Hooray for PEARS!

  40. If you were a guy I’d marry you. That’s because you are clearly my cookbook soulmate. I thought I was the only one that bought cookbooks like a fiend. But clearly I’m not.

    I could totally use some of this cake right now … I’ve got a huge frown on my face thanks to the debacle that is The Toronto Maple Leafs.


  41. Oh how delicious!

  42. wow that is one divine looking cake.i really mean it. it looks so moist and light and with that lovely sauce dripping down …oooh ! fantastic shot. really does full justice to the cake.

  43. I’m out browsing food blogs and I happen upon your site…My mouth dropped open with the picture of your upside down cake. This doesn’t always happen to me and I must say that your picture spoke to my craving taste buds. This is going to be whipped up in my kitchen soon.


    Lydia H.

  44. Congratulations for winning the DMBLGIT November 2007 – you really deserve it. Great picture! And of course, a wonderful cake.

  45. Judy in Florida says:

    What a scrumptious looking cake. I can’t wait to try it. I have over 500 cookbooks, lost track. Way to many for me. I only use a certain few.
    Will try this cake for sure, thanks!!

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