This is one of those cake that uses up the leftover Christmas bits and pieces. I had some cranberries, half a bag of pecans and some pears that needed using up. It's based on a recipe I picked up from one of the supermarkets - Sainsbury's I think. It has quite a thick topping, but it's delicious. It does take a bit of effort to make, but I think it's worth it. Pears and cranberries are 2 of our 5 a day!
It's an upside down cake, so you need a heavy bottomed pan about 26cms, as it has to go on the hob and in the oven. I used a Le Creuset saute pan, which worked well.
Preheat oven 180C/gas4
Make the topping - melt 75g butter and sugar in the pan over a low heat. Peel and core 900g of pears [about 6] and cut them into about 1cm slices then put them in the pan on top of the butter and sugar. Cook over a gentle heat till the pears are just soft; turn the heat up to caramelize them. Sprinkle 140g of cranberries and 75g of pecans over the mixture and gently mix the fruit together.
Make the cake - cream 120g of butter with 200g of caster sugar. Add 2 yolks [from 2 separated large eggs and a tspn of vanilla extract. Mix in half of 210g of plain flour [which has had 2 tspns of baking powder added to it], add 175ml of milk and then the rest of the flour. Mix it till smooth.
Beat the 2 egg whites till peaks, then fold into the batter gently.
Spread the mixture over the pears and bake for 35-40 mins,
Leave the cake to cool in the pan for 10 mins, but no longer, or the caramelized fruit and nuts will stick to the pan!
Turn out onto a serving plate so that the caramelized side is on top.
I love the topping on this cake; it's crunchy, soft from the fruit, and goes really well with the soft textured cake.