Upside Down Asian Pear Cake

At the farmers’ market this weekend it became clear that Asian Pears are quite in season. I decided to get a bag and bake something with them. I’ve never made an upside down cake before, so this was new to me. I always thought the process must be soooo difficult. I’m glad I was wrong! It was so easy, but so yummy.

Upside Down Asian Pear Cake
(source)

Ingredients
1 or 2 big Asian pears, peeled and sliced
2 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
6 tbsp unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 lemon, zested

Directions

1. Butter an 8-inch baking pan. Arrange the pears in a single layer in the pan. Cook 3/4 cup of sugar and water together on high heat until it becomes a light brown caramel. Pour the caramel over the pears and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 325.

3. Cream butter and the rest of the sugar (1/2 cup) until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time until well combined.

4. Add in the lemon zest, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix well. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt and add to the mixture. Mix until well combined.

5. Pour the batter evenly over the pears. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

6. Cool the cake for 10 minutes and then flip the cake out of the pan onto a clean plate.

* Shared with What’s Cooking Wednesday

Roasted Eggplant Pasta

 

I’ve said it before on here: I’m not part of the eggplant lovers club. Frankly, I’d be shocked if there even was such a club just because I really don’t think it’s a good food. While it’s not my favorite food, I do try to cook with it and find ways that work – because I know I shouldn’t be so picky. This was one preparation of eggplant that I really enjoyed. In the past I’ve made a few others:

Eggplant Bharta with Peas
– Lamb Moussaka
Rice with Eggplant

Mainly it’s a texture thing. If I get the eggplant a texture I like, I definitely enjoy it a lot more. Sometimes I just think it feels like a soggy sponge in my mouth.

Anyway – not to turn you off from this dish, the eggplant was not the texture I so despite! Roasting the eggplant definitely transformed the texture into something palatable.

This was a very easy pasta dish with a lot of flavor. I brought it for lunch to work, popped it in the microwave, and it was delicious.

Roasted Eggplant Pasta

Ingredients
1 small eggplant, peeled and cubed
cooking spray
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tomato, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 cups cooked pasta of choice (I used Spinach Spaghetti Noodles which were excellent!)
2 tbsp parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Place the eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet an coat with cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 3 minutes, until golden. Add the tomato, tomato paste, sugar, and ground pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes. Add eggplant and basil. Cook 3 minutes.

4. Toss the sauce with the pasta and sprinkle with cheese.

* serves 2* Shared with Presto Pasta hosted by Simona of Bricole, Mealtime Monday, The Bulletin Board, & Mix it Up Monday