UPSIDE DOWN PEAR COFFEE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position.
Sweet Crumb Topping:
1⁄2 cup finely chopped pecans
1⁄3 cup brown sugar (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 and 1⁄2 ounces cold salted butter (that's
1⁄4 cup salted butter (2 ounces, 1⁄2 stick, 1⁄8 pound)
1⁄2 cup brown sugar (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
3 pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced, either fresh or canned.
1⁄2 cup golden raisins
Coffee Cake Batter:
2 cups all-purpose flour (pack it down in the cup when you measure it)
1 cup white (granulated) sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder (that's one Tablespoon)
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄3 cup softened, salted butter
1 cup whole milk
1 large egg
Prepare your baking pan(s). You'll need a 9-inch by
9-inch square pan with 2-inch tall sides.
Hannah's 1st Note: If the only square pan you have is 8 inches square, use that and also use a standard-size bread pan. Baking times for alternate pans are different, so test for doneness by inserting a long toothpick or cake tester in the center of the pan. If it comes out clean, your cake is done. If not, give it a bit more baking time in the oven.
Spray your pan(s) with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray.
While your pan(s) are prepared, empty, and still cool, find a pretty, heatproof platter. Make sure that the platter is larger than the surface of the pan. It will also help if the platter has slightly raised edges because the butterscotch liquid that will be formed in the oven will drizzle down when you invert the pan over the platter. And you won't want to lose a drop of that wonderful butterscotch taste!
Prepare the Sweet Crumb Topping first.
Use a fork from your silverware drawer to mix the chopped pecans and the brown sugar together in a small mixing bowl.
Next, mix in the all-purpose flour and the cinnamon. Use the fork or a pie crust blender to cut in the cold butter. Continue to mix until the resulting mixture is crumbly.
Set the Sweet Crumb Topping aside on the counter while you prepare the fruit layer.
Place the butter in the bottom of your prepared baking pan(s). Set the pan(s) in the oven until the butter has melted. Use pot holders to take the pan(s) out of the oven and then move to a wire rack or a cold stove burner.
Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the melted butter in the pan(s).
Arrange the thinly sliced pears in the pan(s).
Sprinkle the golden raisins on top of the sliced pears. Let the pan(s) sit on the rack or cold burners while you
make the Coffee Cake Batter.
Hannah's 2nd Note: This coffee cake is easier to make if you use an electric mixer. You can do it by hand, but it will take some time and muscle.
Combine the flour, white sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix for a few seconds on LOW speed and turn off the mixer.
Add the softened butter, milk, and egg. Mix them in on LOW speed for a minute and then turn the mixer up to MEDIUM speed.
Mix for one minute, then shut off the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
Mix at MEDIUM speed for another 2 minutes, shut off the mixer, and scrape down the bowl again.
Take the bowl out of the mixer and give it another stir by hand with a rubber spatula.
Pour the Coffee Cake Batter over the fruit layer in your pan(s).
Remember that Sweet Crumb Topping? It's now time to use it.
Sprinkle the Sweet Crumb Topping over the Coffee
Cake Batter in your pan(s).
Bake your yummy creation at 350 degrees F. until a cake tester, long toothpick, or thin wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean with no batter sticking to it.
Baking time for the 9-inch by 9-inch square pan should be approximately 50 minutes.
If you used an 8-inch by 8-inch square pan, baking time should be approximately 40 minutes.
If you also used a standard-sized bread pan, baking time should be approximately 40 minutes.
Hannah's 3rd Note: Start testing your Upside Down Pear Coffee Cake 5 minutes before the end of the baking time.
Use pot holders to remove the pan(s) from the oven, then immediately invert a heatproof serving platter over the top of your pan. Hold on to the pan(s) with pot hold- ers and invert the pan quickly. Leave the pan(s) in place, sitting on top of your Upside Down Pear Coffee Cake, for one or two minutes so that the butterscotch formed by the butter and brown sugar can drizzle down over the top of your coffee cake(s).