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.
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.
Don’t be afraid to experiment:
- Instead of ewe’s and goat milk butter you can use cows’milk butter or cow’s butter and olive oil.
- Instead of honey, we can add 1/4 cup demerara sugar or can sugar.
- Βάζουμε δύο αχλάδια και δύο μήλα, εναλλάξ.
- Instead of pears try it with quince or other fruit suitable for pies.
- Add some cinnamon on top of the pears or apples.
- Instead of raspberry essence, add vanilla or other flavour you like.
- Add some pieces of chocolate in the batter.
As an example, I am giving you another recipe of a Pineapple Upside down cake I made.
Both cakes are equally delicious, so you can choose to make, whichever you prefer the most.
Other upside down cakes:
- 60 grams unsalted butter
- 140 grams dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 6 slices tinned pineapple rings
- Red jam (strawberry, raspberry, cherry, quince, etc)
- 2 cups scant all purpose flour with 2 tbsp corn flour, sifted
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 250 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
- 225 grams crystal sugar
- 4 large eggs (60 grams each), room temperature (250 grams)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180o C and place rack in the centre of the oven.
- Sift the flour, corn flour, baking powder and baking soda and mix in salt, zest and vanilla sugar.
- Butter a 25 cm spring form baking pan lined with parchment paper.
- In a non-stick frying pan add the butter and brown sugar and stir until it caramelizes. Stir in the lemon juice.
- Arrange the pineapple slices so they are close together but not overlapping. Add some red jam in the cavity of the pineapples and add pour the caramel on top. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. After about five minutes the batter should be light in colour and fluffy in texture.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. You will notice that the batter will look curdled. Don't worry as the batter will come together again after you add the flour mixture.
- Add the milk and beat until incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated.
- Pour the batter over the fruit and smooth the top.
- Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Pass a knife around the rim of the baking pan, place a platter on top and invert the cake.
- Remove the baking the pan and cool completely.
Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 530Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 142mgSodium 147mgCarbohydrates 67gFiber 2gSugar 44gProtein 6g
- 250 grams sugar
- 4 large eggs (63 - 65 grams each with shell), room temperature
- 150 grams ewes and goat butter, at room temperature
- 85 grams butter, at room temperature, plus 1 tsp to brush the baking tin
- 100 grams all-purpose flour
- 100 grams almonds, skin on, powdered
- 40 grams corn flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 10 drops raspberry essence
- 4 pears (about 780 grams)
- ¼ cup honey
- Line a 26 cm diametre cake pan with parchment paper. As I do not have one, I used a spring-form pan but used a large piece of parchment paper in order to collect anything leaking from the pan.
- Brush it with butter.
- Peel and core the pears and cut each one into six slices. Place them in the baking tin, in a circle around the edge, with the thickest part at the edge. Add, two bigger slices in the centre, facing opposite direction, to fill in the centre.
- Add the honey on top of the pears.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Beat the sugar with butter, for about ten minutes. Stop the mixer every now and then and and scrape the butter from the sides of the bowl and out of the beaters with a rubber spatula, and continue until white and fluffy
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated.
- Add the raspberry essence as well as the dry ingredients and mix until homogenized.
- Spoon the batter over the pears and level it using the spoon.
- Bake in a preheated oven to 180o C for about 55 - 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for five minutes.
- Pass a knife around the sides of the baking tin.
- Remove the base and the parchment paper.
- Put a platter on top and carefully invert it.
- Serve as it is while warm or with a dollop of cream or ice cream.
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.
Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 338Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 90mgSodium 163mgCarbohydrates 56gFiber 4gSugar 40gProtein 10g
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