Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Ginger Pear Upside Down Cake in Food & Wine


Fall is a wonderful time of year. The weather is still good. Many of the summer vegetables and fruit are still fresh and available and fall fruits are coming in too. That means figs and apples and pears in addition to tomatoes and basil. All of which inspires me to head into the kitchen.

While pears and apples are good fresh and raw, I do believe they both improve when cooked. They also take well to warm, spicy flavors like ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, even black pepper. I found a recipe for Ginger Pear Upside Down Cake in the November issue of Food and Wine magazine that typifies fall. Lots of warm spices, a caramel pear topping (or bottom depending) and just the act of baking is a fall activity. Perhaps nothing signifies fall more than the chill in the air that gives bakers the permission to fire up their ovens.

Now all I need is a reason to bake a cake! The biggest problem with baking a cake is that unlike cookies, it's harder to pass off 1/2 of the bounty to family or friends. On the other hand, it may make a good dessert for Thanksgiving, which isn't that far away...