This is essentially an upside down pear cake. The recipe is based on Valli Little’s recipe from Delicious Home Cooking: http://shop.abc.net.au/products/delicious-home-cooking-hbk.
The recipe is very similar to my own Frangipane Tart: https://thequirkandthecool.com/2013/04/01/quirkys-frangipane-tart/
375 mls red wine
300 gms caster sugar
2 cinnamon quills ( I used cassia quills instead)
3 Beurre Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices
150 gms butter
3 free range eggs
75 gms plain flour
150 gms almond meal
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
Place the red wine and 150 gms of the sugar in a saucepan over a low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cinnamon/cassia and the pears, making sure all the pear slices are submerged in the red wine.
Cover the surface with a piece of baking paper cut to fit the pan. Cook for a minimum of 10 minutes or until the pears are tender. I found that the pears needed 20 minutes or so to cook. You can cook the pears the day before, leaving them to steep in the poaching liquid for a richer, deeper flavour and colour.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (less if your oven is fan forced – I suggest 160 degrees C). Grease a 22 cm springform tin.
Beat butter and remaining 150 gms sugar in a food processor until pale and well creamed.
Optional: 1 tsp almond essence and 1 tsp vanilla paste can be added to the creamed butter and sugar at this point for more depth of flavour.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in flour, almond meal and baking powder, by pulsing carefully.
Drain the pears, reserving the poaching liquid. Arrange the pears slices in the springform tin in a circular pattern, slightly overlapping. Spread over the cake batter, smoothing the top with a spatula.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover the top with foil to prevent burning. When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Place your poaching liquid in a saucepan over medium high heat and cook for 6 – 10 minutes until reduced and syrupy.
Invert the cake onto a serving plate. Brush the warm cake with the poaching syrup, using a pastry brush. You can brush the cake with more syrup just before serving, if desired.
Serve with lashings of whipped cream, custard or ice-cream!