Christmas decorations are a pretty big deal in my house. Sure, we have some lights on the outside, but it’s the inside that lights up the holiday season. Trees with stunning ornaments from around the world, some old, some new, a perfect village scene, tons of stuffed animals, and a beautiful decoration made by my late Grandma, among others decorations that fill tables, shelves, and the mantle. I wanted to share some of our decorations with you to put you even more in the holiday spirit than you already hopefully are. I hope you like them.
Gingerbread also screams holiday season to me. I love rich, moist gingerbread cakes, but I had an abundance of pears thanks to an amazing, seriously amazing and totally unexpected gift of Harry and David’s fruit of the month club from our friends Art and Jessica. I know it’s all about giving at Christmas, but getting can be really fun. So after stocking up on tons of pears at the store, I received more in the mail and had to bake something with those Harry and David stunners.
While I will share with you the plain gingerbread recipe I love one day, I gave this Pear Gingerbread Cake from Emeril Lagasse a try and fell in love with it. It is basically a pear upside down cake. You know I don’t much care for upside down cakes, but this was awesome, so I’m thinking I’m just a picky upside down cake girl! The cake is rich and moist with spicy gingerbread flavor. The crystallized ginger occasionally gives a bite of heat. I like it chopped very finely to kind of melt into the cake. I used Steen’s Cane Syrup, which is totally worth seeking out, but plain molasses will do. However, it is the crunchy pecans and soft, gooey caramelized pears on top of the cake that really make this a winner. I am already craving another piece of this amazing cake. It will be an awesome addition to your holiday table.
- 1 large or 2 small pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup pecans
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup Steen’s Cane Syrup or Molasses
- ¾ cup boiling water
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Very generously butter an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan, leaving extra butter on the bottom to help the pears cook. Arrange the pears in a pretty pattern in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with brown sugar and pecans.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla, syrup, and water. Pour flour mixture into sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in crystallized ginger. Pour batter over pears and pecans.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes, rotating halfway through and covering with foil toward the end of the baking process if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Allow cake to cool in pan for about 7 minutes before inverting onto a cake plate. I like the cake best warm, but it may be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or frozen in quarters wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for several hours or in a 350 degree F oven wrapped in parchment placed on foil for about 30 minutes.