Pear Upside-Down Honey Spice Cake

INGREDIENTS:Honey-Spice Cake:
9 Tbsp. unsalted butter
16 oz. honey (1 1/3 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. cinnamon

Pear Topping:
4 ripe Bartlett pears
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter DIRECTIONS:Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10 x 2 inch round cake pan.

For Pear Topping: Peel the pears. Cut into quarters lengthwise and remove cores. Cut each quarter in half lengthwise. Place sugar in large saute pan and place over medium heat. When sugar begins to melt, stir with wooden spoon. Continue to stir and cook until all lumps of sugar are dissolved and sugar syrup is light amber color (a minute or two). Remove pan from heat and add 3 Tbsp. butter. (Be careful: hot caramel will sputter when butter is added.) Stir until butter is incorporated.

Working quickly, pour hot caramel into prepared cake pan, tilting pan to completely cover the bottom. Being careful not to burn fingers on hot caramel, fan the pears in a circle around edge of cake pan; fill in center with remaining 6 or 7 pear slices. If caramel hardens before pears are in place, set pan over low heat to soften caramel. It is important that the pears be stuck in the caramel, as it sets up as the batter is quite thin, and pears will float if they are not attached to caramel. Set pan aside.

For Cake: Put 9 Tbsp. of butter and honey in saucepan over medium heat. Gently warm until butter is melted, but don’t let honey boil. Whisk to combine; set aside. In small bowl, combine egg, milk and vanilla, then set aside.

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Pour honey/butter mixture over dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add egg mixture and whisk until well-combined. Pour batter over pears. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Cook cake for 10 minutes in pan. Invert cake onto platter. Serve slices of cake with dollop of creme fraiche drizzled with a little honey. SERVINGS:12 servings From: PHOTO CREDIT:Photo Credit: NATIONAL HONEY BOARD