At last! It seems so late though by SoCal standards it’s not. I’ve been dying to bake and can stand it no longer, even though it means I will have to turn on the A/C in the kitchen while the oven is on. So I looked around and decided that I not only want to bake I want to experiment. I’ve got a couple of pears and basic baking ingredients so I’m going for a good crumb cake and going to flip if on its head and see if that will make it come out nicely crisped. I love buttermilk batters so onto the internet to read a few and make adjustments. Starting from a buttermilk pound cake from Alton Brown here’s where I end up. This is NOTHING like a pound cake but it sure is good!
Upside down Pear Streusel Coffee Cake
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup oats or other rolled cereal
- 1/2 cup chopped or ground nuts
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 pears peeled and roughly chopped
For the batter
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened, plus 1 tablespoon for pan
- 8 ounces cake flour
- 8 ounces sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup whole buttermilk, room temperature (or 3 tablespoons buttermilk powder combined with 3 ounces of water)
Butter a 10” cake pan or skillet and line bottom with parchment paper. Mix Streusel ingredients and spread over bottom of pan. Scatter chopped pear over streusel.
Combine 6 ounces of butter and 8 ounces sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and cream for 6 minutes on medium speed, using the paddle attachment. Stop once to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. With the mixer running at lowest speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Again stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and salt and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds.
With the mixer on the lowest speed add the flour, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, making sure each portion is fully incorporated before adding the next. After the final addition, beat the batter for 30 seconds on medium speed until almost smooth.
Scrape the batter out of the bowl onto the top of the pears and streusel. Use wet hands to spread it to the edges of the pan.
Bake at 375º for 45 to 50 minutes until browned. Cake will spring back when pressed lightly and a toothpick will come out clean.
I made this Saturday…perfect cake to eat on the afternoon of a rainy weekend! Tim agreed.
I don’t think I’ve ever made a pound cake before and was unnerved by the lack of leavening, so the delicious results were a pleasant surprise.
The storm you had over the weekend was the same one we had earlier in the week. It made it all the way,to the east coast!
I thought it interesting that baked in a flatter shape the cake’s texture was decidedly UN-pound cake like. I’ve never baked that batter in a loaf pan but I might try it; I think the buttermilk is a nice addition to the flavor. Classic pound cake though is simple -pound each butter, flour, sugar and eggs plus whatever flavorings like lemon zest and vanilla. I make a pretty mean lemon poppy seed cake too that is in that same family.
Give Tim my best. Love to you both. We miss you here.