with the kids out of the house, darry and i frequently do our grocery shopping at trader joe's. now that it is just the two of us, we can shop for the foods we prefer without having to worry about the kids not liking the dishes we cook. a recent trip to the store had me stocking up on fall favorites. a bag of pears made the trip home with me. ripe, juicy pears are a favorite of mine. unfortunately, i forgot about them and when i went to grab one, i saw that i had 4 very ripe pears. knowing that i would not be able to eat them all, i decided to bake a cake and share it with my fellow garden volunteers.
upside down cakes are a favorite of mine. this recipe actually appears in my second cookbook, desserts from the famous loveless cafe. however, i used peaches in the book. guess what, pears will work just as nicely, so will apples! honestly, i am thinking that plums as well as pecan or walnut halves would also work nicely. the most unusual fact about this cake, it is a whipped cream cake. that means rather than use soft butter, you actually whip heavy cream with sugar to soft peaks. eggs and vanilla are added to this and finally, self rising flour is sifted over the cake and folded in. so simple, so tasty. for those of you not in the south, you can make this with cake flour if you cannot find traditional self rising flour. just use an equal portion of cake flour and add 1 tablespoon of baking powder and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
to make the cake, follow this link to the cafe's website. the full recipe is posted and available to you. believe it or not, i followed the recipe making only one small change. for the caramel that is cooked in the skillet, i used light brown sugar rather than the granulated sugar called for. my decision was based on the thought that brown sugar would add a little more flavor and it did.