Lemon Pear Upside-Down Gingerbread Cake
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar, divided
3 large, firm-ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 tablespoon dry ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
In a skillet over low heat, combine the lemon juice and zest with the wine and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar. Add the pears and bring to a slow simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the pears are just tender. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the raisins.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a tube pan with baking spray. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar in the bottom of the pan. Arrange the pears, slightly overlapping, over the sugar.
In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, granulated sugar, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl between additions. Add half the milk followed by half of the flour, mixing before adding the remaining half the milk and flour. Spoon into the prepared pan over the pears.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a serving plate. If any of the pears stick to the pan, carefully remove them and return them to their place on the cake. Makes 16 servings.
Per serving: 300 calories, 90 calories from fat (30 percent of total calories), 10 g fat (6 g saturated, 0 g trans fats), 45 mg cholesterol, 50 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 29 g sugar, 4 g protein, 105 mg sodium.