Pomegranate Pear Upside-Down Cake.
Today was a milestone day for me; I ate my first pomegranate seed. I know; I was excited, too. Somehow, I missed the pageant in which they were named 2014 Miss Fruit of the Year, but due to their meteoric rise in the culinary world, it must have taken place.
Now it is impossible to scroll through any foodie site without seeing these sweet, tiny, antioxidant-rich gems sprinkled over everything from smoothies to salads to steak.
It was time to become a pomegranate groupie, and I had the perfect recipe to showcase these dazzling, juicy, sweet & sassy, ruby seeds – Pomegranate Pear Upside-Down Cake.
I first took a crash course on how to access pomegranate seeds and learned there are two preferred methods. One method uses water; the other involves some tough love. In my humble opinion, the tough love method is far superior and could not be simpler.
- With a sharp knife, score a pomegranate around its circumference.
- Gently pull the two sections apart.
- Hold one half of the pomegranate upside down over a large bowl and smack the pomegranate soundly with the back of a wooden utensil until all the seeds fall into the bowl. Serious smacking needs to happen.
- Repeat with the other half of the pomegranate.
Now, on to how to prepare the pears – another easy prep.
- Peel three pears and remove the stem.
- Cut the pears in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out each core with a small spoon.
That wasn’t so hard, and that’s the tough part.
Pomegranate Pear Upside-Down Cake will convert even the most fervent naysayer of upside-down cakes (e.g., my husband). It is the queen of all upside-down cakes and will make the 2014 Miss Fruit of the Year proud.
I think it looks like a bejeweled crown, don’t you?
PS. I have mentioned Yotam Ottolenghi before and will again throughout the lifetime of Simply Sated. I love so many of his recipes. Two of the recipes posted on my blog are Otttolenghi-inspired recipes and are superb: Sweet Potato & Honey Goat Cheese Pizza and Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake.
Pomegranate Pear Upside-Down Cake is a variation of Ottolenghi’s Pear-Cranberry Upside Cake. I hope to meet Yotam one day and thank him for guiding me along my lifelong journey of finding innovative, exceptional recipes and for blessing three of my five senses.
PPS. Thanks to my beautiful niece, Katie, for giving me this gorgeous cake stand. I love it!
Pomegranate Pear Upside-Down Cake
- For the Poached Fruit:
- 1 pomegranate seeds only
- 3 pears peeled, cored & cut in-half lengthwise
- 3 cups water
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole cloves
- 1/2 lemon zest and juice
- For the Caramel Topping:
- ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
- 6 tablespoons butter unsalted, melted
- For the Cake Batter:
- 6 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1- teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/3 cup almond meal/flour or ground almonds
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2/3- cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon star anise
- 1 orange zest only
- ½ lemon zest only
- Glaze optional:
- ¼ cup apricot jam or apple jelly
- 1- tablespoon water
- Ice Cream - optional
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Grease a springform or 9-inch cake pan with shortening or spray with cooking spray. Tart pans can be used. Cover the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
- For the Poached Fruit:
- Place pears flat side down, pomegranates and all other ingredients for the poached fruit in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.` Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pears are slightly undercooked, approximately 6-10 minutes. Check with a sharp knife - they should be tender on the outside and slightly firm on the inside.
- Once the pears are almost cooked through, turn off the heat and set the poaching fruit aside to cool until ready to use.
- For the Caramel Topping:
- Combine ¾ cup brown sugar and 6 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook and whisk often until butter is melted and mixture is thoroughly combined – 5-6 minutes.
- For the Cake Batter:
- In a medium bowl, sieve together ground almonds (or almond flour), all-purpose flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and star anise; set aside.
- While using the paddle attachment of a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and airy – approximately 3 minutes.
- Gradually add the eggs and vanilla extract – mix until well combined.
- Add the flour mixture, orange zest and lemon zest and mix just until combined and smooth, but don’t over-mix.
- The batter should be thick.
- For the Glaze, optional:
- In a microwave-safe bowl, bring the jam and water just to a boil, mix well, then pour the glaze over the warm cake.
- To Assemble the Cake:
- Pour caramel mixture over the bottom of the pan.
- Strain the fruit from the poaching liquid then remove the pears and pomegranates from the other ingredients.
- Spoon out the core of each pear half then slice them lengthwise into 5-6 slices per half pear.
- Place 1-cup pomegranate seeds and pears in a pattern of your choosing over the caramel mixture. (reserve any extra pomegranate seeds for garnishing the baked cake).
- Carefully, and without moving the fruit, pour the cake batter over the fruit and smooth out the top.
- Place the uncooked cake on a parchment-covered or foil covered cooking tray to catch any drippings while cooking.
- Bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
- When the cake is still warm but not hot (15 minutes), place an upside-down serving plate over the cake and quickly invert the cake onto the serving plate.
- Garnish with extra fresh pomegranate seeds.
- Drizzle the cake with glaze, if desired*.
- Let the cake cool completely on a cooling rack before serving.
- Serve with ice cream, if desired.
- Cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.
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[email protected] McCallumsShamrockPatchI feel so inspired to try this, I have never had upside down pear and pomegranate cake---all I can say is wow thank you for posting this-- I can hardly wait to try it.
Susie GallThank you, Heidi, and thanks for coming by today.
Del's cooking twistYour cake looks fabulous! Beautiful idea to make an upside down with pears and pomegranate. I keep your recipe in mind :)
Susie GallThanks so much, Del. It really appreciate your sweet comments.
Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious"For blessing three of my five senses." --> BEAUTIFUL!
Susie GallThank you, Dorothy and thank so much for stopping by Simply Sated.
Linda (Meal Planning Maven)OMG Susie...all your cakes are gorgeous, but this one is a true show-stopper. Perfect for Valentine's Day!
Susie GallYou are so sweet, Linda. Thank you so much!
peter @feedyoursoultooSusie, absolutely gorgeous.
Susie GallThank you, Peter, and thank you for your nice comment.
AngelaSusie, this is just a beautiful thing!!!! I love pomegranates and this would be just perfect for a weekend special breakfast!
Susie GallThank you, Angela. You are so right - I had a sliver (NOT) of this cake for breakfast the first two mornings after baking it. It tastes great with a steamy cup of coffee and would be perfect with hot tea. Thanks for stopping by today - I really appreciate it.
Patricia @ Grab a PlateSimply gorgeous! I love pomegranates and the topping is (literally) over the top!
Dan from Pltter TalkSo happy you have discovered the miracle of pomegranate! This creation is simply beyond beautiful. So nicely done!
Cindy @ Hun... What's for Dinner?What a gorgeous cake! I am loving all the flavours in here. I'm a big fan of cloves and star anise.
swathiBeautiful cake, Love to try it, Looks delicious thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning.
CathyI am allergic to almonds. What can replace the almond flour?
Susie GallHello Cathy. All-purpose flour can be substituted for almond flour on a 1:1 ration. So, for every cup of almond flour, use one cup of all-purpose flour...equal amount substitution. Thanks for your question and thanks for stopping by Simply Sated. Have a great Christmas and holiday season.