ROYAL RIVIERA PEAR AND LEMON UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Served with sweet lemon syrup! Luxurious!
Make Sweet Lemon Syrup First:
SWEET LEMON SYRUP
Three sugars melted in fresh lemon water with lemon zest, reduced to create a smooth, sweet lemon syrup!
Makes 1-1/2 cups
zest and juice of 1 lg. lemon (zest the lemon before cutting the lemon to squeeze its juice; it’s easier that way)
1-1/2 c. water
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
tiny pinch salt
In very small saucepan combine all ingredients. Stir well to dissolve sugars.
Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat at a soft boil. Stir occasionally till mixture reduces by about 1/2 cup or 1/4 of the total sauce.
Remove from heat. Cool at room temperature, then transfer to covered jar and refrigerate till cold.
Notes: Use cold, at room temperature or warm over assorted toasted breads, to dunk cookies in, to drizzle over French toast, pancakes, puddings, unfrosted cakes or various soy ice-creams.
Cooking time could take as much as 20 minutes. If made in a skillet, because of the larger cooking surface, cooking time shortens, but you risk burning the syrup that way. It’s better to use a very small saucepan and take your time.
Syrup will thicken somewhat when chilled. Keep refrigerated when not in use.
Variation: Sweet Orange Syrup: Substitute the zest and the juice of 1 large orange for the lemon zest and juice.
NOW LET’S MAKE THE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
zest of 3 lg. lemons, plus the juice from the lemons, about 2/3 c.
1 c. sugar
1 T. baking soda
2 t. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. non-dairy creamer, plain
In large mixing bowl combine lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, baking soda and vanilla. Stir till sugar dissolves and baking soda foams up.
Add flour and non-dairy creamer. Stir briskly till thoroughly incorporated. Set aside.
1/2 stick margarine
1/2 c. light brown sugar
2 ripe Royal Riviera Pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
In small saucepan melt margarine. Remove from heat.
Pour evenly into bottom of 9 inch round cake pan.
Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar and pat down into the margarine.
Place pear slices evenly over margarine and brown sugar. Pat firmly into place.
Re-stir cake batter, then pour evenly over pears.
Place on bottom rack of preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 55 minutes or till toothpick comes out clean when inserted into middle, and top of cake turns a light brown, resembling a cheesecake.
Remove from oven and let set at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Take the plate or platter you’re going to serve the cake on, invert it onto the top of the cake pan (bottom side up).
Using pot holders grab both sides and flip both the cake pan and plate over. Place on counter and lift off pan. What appears is a beautiful array of Riviera Pear slices on top of a wonderful lemon cake.
Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.
Cut cake into wedges, place on individual dessert plates, then spoon 3-4 T. of Sweet Lemon Syrup over each serving.
Notes: Use a zester or a grater, not a knife, to gather the zest from the lemons. If it’s in long strands, chop the strands.