Rosemary Pear Cake

October 21, 2014
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves One 8" cake
Author Notes

This cake has it all. It's sweet, savory, and just right for fall. It's gluten free, which makes it perfect for holiday guests with an intolerance. —Hillary Pollak

What You'll Need
  • Rosemary Caramel
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Cornmeal Cake
  • 2-3 pears
  • 6 tablespoons sorghum flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 3 tablespoons fine cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  1. Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 F.
  2. Combine 6 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons water, and the rosemary in a 10 inch ovenproof skillet with an 8 inch-diameter bottom. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, without stirring, until the caramel is golden amber. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of butter.
  3. Peel, halve, and core the pears. Cut them lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices. Arrange the slices, overlapping slightly, on top of the caramel in the skillet.
  4. Whisk the flours, cornmeal, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt in a small bowl to blend.
  5. 5. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 6 tablespoons butter with ¾ cup sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour in three additions, alternating with two additions of the milk.
  6. In a separate bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites on medium speed until they form soft peaks. Fold ¼ of the egg whites into the cake batter, mixing until just incorporated. Add the remaining egg whites, folding until just blended.
  7. Pour the batter over the pears and smooth out the top.
  8. 8. Bake the cake until the top is golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes. Run a butter knife around the skillet. Place a large plate atop the skillet. Using oven mitts, hold the plate and skillet together and invert the cake. Rearrange pear slices if necessary. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Tina Heaney
    Tina Heaney
  • Ginger Smith
    Ginger Smith
  • Martin Belderson
    Martin Belderson
  • plainhomecook

6 Reviews

Tina H. February 18, 2017
We really enjoyed this cake. I doubled everything for my 10" skillet. Next time I would likely add more rosemary.
Martin B. October 14, 2015
This butter and sugar used in Step 5 of the recipe are missing from the list of ingredients.
Ginger S. May 28, 2015
I made a cornmeal polenta cake and I thought it was dry and grainy. I will definitely look into this recipe. I love upside down cakes!
plainhomecook February 19, 2015
I made this on a whim and so had no ripe pears, but honeycrisp apples worked just fine. The cake itself is delicious and not too sweet.
Pascale P. November 22, 2014
Cup 4 Cup flour is also an EXCELLENT flour. I used to mix up a flour, but C4C is the best product I have ever used for GF baking.
beekeeper December 22, 2014
This was very good. I baked it in a cast iron skillet. I searched 6 grocery stores, both regular and health food and none of them had sorghum flour. I substituted gluten free oatmeal flour with good results.