Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large pears
2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup maple syrup, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of a 9-inch round non-stick baking pan with parchment paper cut to fit. Spray parchment with pan spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, corn starch, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cloves; Stir well and set aside.

Peel and core pears. Cut 2 pears into thin slices about (1/4-inch) thick (avoiding the core). Chop other 2 pears into large chunks.

Arrange sliced pears in the prepared pan in a concentric circles. Pour 1/4 cup of maple syrup over pears.

Place pear chunks into blender with 2 tablespoons water. Blend, stopping to push down any stray pears, until consistency of applesauce.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in 1 2/3 cups pear puree. Add remaining maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir until combined. Carefully spoon batter over pears.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Run a knife around edge of pan. Place a serving dish over and invert. Tap lightly to dislodge cake from the pan. Carefully remove parchment paper, cool and slice to serve.

Serves 8-12.