Honey Glazed Pear Upside Down Cake

Pear Cake Title

 

¼ c honey

4 small or 3 large Bosc pears, peeled, quartered & cored

3 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)

1 c sugar

Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon

2 large eggs

1 T vanilla extract

1 c flour

¼ tsp salt

½ c (1 stick) plus 1 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled

¼ cup sliced almonds

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In 9 inch ovenproof skillet like a cast iron (not nonstick) simmer honey until it begins to reduce, caramelize and darken in color, about 6-10 minutes. Do not let the honey burn, if it starts to smell burned turn off the heat. Arrange pears close together with the cut side down in a circular pattern, stem ends pointing toward the center. Simmer over medium heat, turning from one cut side to the other, until golden, about 10 minutes. Flip pears over to their curved side and scatter with thyme sprigs. Transfer skillet to oven and roast, uncovered, until very tender, about 25 minutes. While cooking, whisk together sugar and lemon zest. Whisk in eggs and vanilla and fold in flour and salt. Stir in ½ cup butter. When pears are soft, remove skillet from oven, discard thyme and brush edges of pears with remaining 1 T of butter. Pour batter over roasted pears and scatter with almonds over top. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Let cake cool for 30 minutes in pan. Run a spatula along edges of pan to loosen cake and carefully invert cake onto a serving platter. Serve warm or cooled. Serves 6-8, although 4 have been known to eat one in sitting.