"This upside-down cake is deceptively easy even though its impressive appearance might indicate otherwise, Jocelyn says. Add vanilla ice cream to take it over the top.

Jocelyn Delk Adams



  • Place 1/2 cup butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Place in cold oven; preheat oven to 350°F. Once butter has melted, whisk 1/3 cup brown sugar into melted butter in skillet. Arrange pears cut sides down in skillet. Roast 20 to 25 minutes or until just tender and starting to brown. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves.

  • In a large mixing bowl beat the 1/2 cup softened butter on medium 30 seconds. Add remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar; beat until combined. Beat in eggs and molasses. Alternately add flour mixture and the water to mixing bowl, beating on low after each addition just until combined. Pour batter over pears.

  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes more or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in skillet 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate. Drizzle with Bourbon Sauce. Serves 8.

Bourbon Sauce

  • In a small saucepan melt 1/4 cup butter over medium. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk, and 2 tablespoons water. Cook and stir 6 to 8 minutes or just until boiling. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons bourbon. Let cool slightly. Makes 3/4 cup.

Nutrition Facts

640 calories, (19 g saturated fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 8 g monounsaturated fat), 146 mg cholesterol, 435 mg sodium, 85 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 55 g sugar, 6 g protein.