I am a huge fan of cakes made with corn flour, and I believe the ingredient is often overlooked in cake making. You can substitute apples, and during the holidays, pomegranate can be added for a festive touch.
For the cake:
• 3 ½ cups sliced fresh pears (with 2 tablespoons lemon juice), ½ cup goes in the bottom of the pan to garnish
• 1 twenty-ounce can crushed pineapple (drain the liquid off). 1 cup is for the batter; the rest goes in the bottom of the pan
• 4 sticks butter (1 pound) melted, ¼ cup goes in the bottom of the springform pan, 1¾ cups goes into the batter
• ½ cup brown sugar—for the bottom of the springform pan
• 2 cups sugar
• 3 ¼ cups corn flour, plus a little extra for the pan
• 1½ teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
• 4 eggs
• ½ a lemon, peel grated (1 teaspoon)
For the brown sugar sauce
• 1 stick of butter
• 1 cup of brown sugar
• ¼ cup of cream
Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place pear slices in a bowl and sprinkle them with lemon juice. Set aside.
Spray a nine-inch spring form pan with spray oil, pour a quarter-cup of melted butter into the bottom of the pan, add the half cup of brown sugar, then add half a cup of crushed pineapple. Take five or six slices of the peeled, sliced pear and make a flower shape in the center.
In a large bowl, place the sugar and melted butter and mix well. Fold in the corn flour and baking powder.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the pears and pineapple and stir well to combine.
Bake for one hour and allow to cool before slicing. Depending on the fruit you use, it may take an extra five to ten minutes of cooking. To test insert a wooden skewer and make sure it comes out clean, with no batter from the center of the cake.
Make the sauce:
In sauce pan, melt one stick of butter, the cup of brown sugar, and the quarter-cup of heavy cream. Simmer until you have a smooth sauce.
Serve warm over a slice of cake.
To read about why Regina thinks it's time for a corn flour comeback in cakes, click here.