This is an amazingly delicious cake, it takes advantage of seasonal fruit, and it is gluten-free. Also, as an olive oil cake, it is gentle on your arteries. Enjoy.
UPSIDE DOWN PEAR AND ALMOND CAKE
Ingredients Makes a 10 “ diameter cake, serves 8 to 10
- 1 cup sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons + ¼ cup lemon juice
- 3 Tbs. butter
- 4 to 5 Bartlett Pears
- 3 egg yolks
- 5 egg whites
- 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest, or to taste
- ½ cup fruity olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Peel and quarter the pears. Using a pairing knife, remove the core. Cut each quarter into 3 slices, but leave the top uncut, so that you can gently fan out the sliced quarter without it falling apart.
- Place a 10” cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons butter and melt.
- Add 1 cup sugar, and the 3 Tbs. lemon juice. The sugar will melt and begin to color.
- Arrange the pear slices, in concentric circles atop the melted sugar in bottom of the skillet. Cook over low heat for about 15 minutes, until the pears are softened. Remove from heat.
- While the pears are cooking, make your cake batter.
- Stir the almond flour and baking powder together in a bowl.
- Beat the ¾ cup sugar and the egg yolks together until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, ¼ cup lemon juice, and the olive oil.
- Stir in the almond meal and flour mix.
- Beat the egg whites with the salt until firm peaks form.
- Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter to lighten, then fold in the remaining egg whites in 2 additions.
- Pour the batter on top of the pear slices in the skillet.
- Bake the cake until golden and set, about 35 minutes.
- Run a small knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a platter atop the skillet.
- Now comes the tricky part: Holding the platter and skillet firmly together, quickly invert the two. The sooner you do this after the cake comes out of the oven, the more easily it will release, but of course the pan is hot, so be careful. Lift the skillet to release the cake.
- Rearrange the pear slices if necessary.
- Serve with a side of whipped cream.