This Upside Down Pear and Almond Honey Cake is unique as it’s made with Greek Ewe’s and Goat Milk Butter which adds an amazing taste to the cake and the honey added on top of the pears caramelizes and infuses its taste in the pears, making them heavenly.
Most of the year we live in Assini, which is near Tolo but during winter we come back to Athens as we don’t have central heating in Assini but also to spend some time with our children.
Most of my cooking and baking equipment are in Assini, so in Athens I have basic equipment for my children to cook and a lot of my old ones, some of which need to be replaced.
For example, my old spring form baking tin leaks, so I usually cut a big piece of parchment paper which I add between the base and the ring, so that if anything is dripping out, to fall on the paper and not in the oven.
I’ve made many upside down apples cakes before and love them as well but it was the first time I made a pear upside down cake. When I went to the farmers’ market to buy our favourite variety of pears, called “voutyrou” (which means buttery), which are medium sized , with a thin smooth bark with greenish colour, sweet and juicy with a soft flesh. The vendor urged me to try the variety “highland” as well, and after his insistence I was convinced to buy and try them. “Highland” pears are yellowish with even a much softer flesh but although they do taste good, I still believe that “voutyrou” are the best. Unfortunately, I don’t know what this variety is called in English but I’ve read that they were named from the French word beurré (which means pear which melts like butter). You can see them in the picture above with some apples.
I used two of each variety to make the cake. I added honey on top and combined with the butter I used to brush the tin, the pears almost melted to an almost pudding consistency making the cake topping amazing.
The cake batter was made using raw almonds with the skin, which were ground in a food processor after adding some of the flour but were left a bit coarser than powder. They added an amazing taste to the cake. I love raspberry essence, which I have been using in many recipes but if you don’t have any you can substitute it with vanilla or any other flavour of your preference.
The ground almonds act as flour and in combination with all purpose flour and corn flour (starch) no additional chemical leavening agents are necessary. (See how to make cake flour).
As I said above, I have basic utensils here in Athens. My old mixer is good for some uses, such as making dough, shredding vegetables or making smoothies. However, it’s useless to make cakes, so I used a hand mixer to cream the sugar with butter. So, when I say “beat the sugar with butter, for about ten minutes” this is necessary to create little air pockets in the batter, which results into an airy cake. If you have a more powerful mixer then you may need less time but make sure the batter is fluffy.
When the cake is baked, you must be careful when inverting it. First of all just let it sit for a while so that you don’t burn yourself but you must not let it cool as the caramel made by the honey will harden and will stick to the pan, thus breaking the cake. Also, don’t forget to pass a knife around the rim so that any sticky parts are released and then invert the cake.
The cake was so moist and light, not very sweet with a combination of aromas from the ewes and goat butter, which has a distinctive aroma by itself, but combined with honey, almonds and raspberry make the most delicious cake that my friends and family enjoyed with raving reviews.
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My oven in Athens is old, so I recommend that after baking the cake for 45 minutes, check to see if it is ready. If you are using a fan forced oven, you might need to lower the heat to 170o C.
My oven in Athens is old, so I recommend that after baking the cake for 45 minutes, check to see if it is ready.
If you are using a fan forced oven, you might need to lower the heat to 170o C.