I am slowly recovering from a nasty flu, my husband is just in the middle of it. As much as I wanted to make something special and elaborate for our anniversary, I was simply not capable of doing it. We had nice pears and cottage cheese, and I decided to make upside-down pear cake using my regular almond cake recipe. Fast and simple, done many times, no thinking required.
I changed the quantity of some ingredients because I have chosen to use 26 cm springform pan to lay sliced pears on the bottom. They would not fit into smaller 16 cm springform pan. I also decided against using baking paper on the bottom of the pan. I assumed that if I butter the pan properly, and, especially if I dust it with sugar, it will be easy to turn the cake over. I never had caramelised apples or pears on the bottom, but I decided to take a risk. The cake was never intended for publication, that is why not many photos are available. It was very easy to turn the cake over, and pears did not stick to the bottom at all.
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 150 g sugar
- 10 g vanilla sugar
- 1 table spoon coconut sugar
- 200 g cottage cheese (as dry as possible)
- 200 g almond meal
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 table spoon of lemon juice
- 1 tea spoon gluten free baking powder
- 2 cored and sliced Beurre Bosc pears
- unsalted butter for the pan
- separate eggs
- generously butter the bottom and sides of 26 cm round springfrom pan
- use 50 g of granulated sugar from the recipe to dust baking pan
- shake baking pan to remove excess od sugar, return sugar to mixing bowl with cottage cheese
- core and slice pears
- carefully organise pear slices on the bottom of the baking pan, leave 1-1.5 cm from the sides of the springfrom
- sprinkle table spoon of coconut sugar over pear slices
- whisk egg whites until soft peaks and slowly add half of remaining sugar (50 g) until the mixture is white and smooth with stiff peaks, put aside
- cream egg yolks with the rest of the sugar (50g+10g vanilla sugar) until pale, put aside.
- add lemon juice to cottage cheese, mix together until smooth
- add creamed egg yolks to cottage cheese, whisk together
- sift almond meal, add lemon zest and baking powder
- incorporate 2/3 of dry ingredients into cottage cheese mixture
- mix in the first big spoon of egg whites to loosen the mix, add the rest of the dry ingredients, fold in the rest of egg whites
- spoon the batter starting from the perimeter of springform pan to fill the gap between pears and sides of the baking pan, spoon the rest of the batter
- level the cake batter (it will be reasonably thick) with a spatula
- I baked the cake starting in cold fan forced oven set to 170C, it was a thin cake and it was ready in 45 min. I can’t advice everyone to use this approach. It works for my oven and gives excellent results for moist cakes, they are fully baked with a nice strong crust, but not burned or overbaked. Each oven is different, regular bake for this cake would be at 160C preheated fan forced oven for 40-45 min.
- take the sides of the springform, press the cake plate or cake board to the top of the cake and turn it over
- carefully remove the bottom of the springform
- I used lemon glaze on top of sliced pears to make cake surface level and prevent pears drying out, alternatively icing sugar can be used for dusting on a cool cake
The gap between pear slices and springform was filled with batter to protect caramel leaking out of the baking pan. It worked very well. It formed nice frame around sliced pears. I am glad I did not peel pears, it gave the cake a better look. Because I sliced pears thinly, they were fully cooked and caramelised properly even with a thin layer of butter and two thin layers of sugar. I will definitely use this technique (fast, easy and convenient) to make upside-down cakes.
This cake has the same advantages as the almond cake: it has less sugar, more protein, no added butter except for the pan, and can be considered as healthy as cake can be. It tasted better when completely cooled down when vanilla and lemon flavours came through.
As for the anniversary, it has been 40 years since we got married. This flu changed our plans for the day, but changed nothing about the life we had.