I made this fruit cake for an anniversary in the family and it was an instant hit from the get-go! It was very warm, pretty, and the fall aromas simply drew everyone to it. The caramelized pears and pink pomegranate pearls delivered the perfect romantic look for the evening. Although the original recipe by Martha Stewart uses only pears, I had more leftover fruit in my refrigerator, and this felt the perfect time to combine apples and pomegranate with pears. It is equally important that the flavors of the fruits you use complement each other.
- Make the topping: Melt butter in the bottom of a 10 1/2-inch cast-iron skillet over low heat. Add brown sugar, stirring until dissolved. Swirl to coat the bottom; remove from heat, and cool.
- Cut pears and apples into a 1/4-inch-thick wedge and arrange them in a circular pattern over the brown-sugar mixture to cover completely; Cut open pomegranate and pearl at least half of it. Set the inner circle with pears, and the outer circle with apples, then arrange the pomegranate pearls in the center of the pears, and the outer end of the apples to give a radiating flower pattern. Set aside.
- Make the batter: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt, and ground spices; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract; beat to combine. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating to combine.
- Alternating with the milk, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix, on low speed, just until the flour is incorporated.
- In a large bowl, beat reserved egg whites and the cream of tartar with a hand mixer until stiff but not dry. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg whites into the batter. Transfer to skillet. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter evenly, being careful not to disturb the pears.
- Bake until well browned on top and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Run a knife around inside of the pan, and immediately invert the cake onto a serving dish. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy the warm and fruity flavored cake!
Cook’s Notes: When spreading the batter, be careful not to disturb the pears.
Food Rating and Therapeutic Heath Benefits:
No surprise that this food is rated as a Red-dot food in our food rating system (Food Coach) due to the obvious reasons for being high in saturated fat and added sugars. No matter how you look at it added sugar causes inflammation in the body and has negative effects on our health. But occasional dessert is ok if that makes you feel better.
When you have a healthy balanced meal, there is always a healthy space for dessert. It may sound ironic but as a nutritionist, I also enjoy desserts in small amounts on special occasions. Depriving ourselves of dessert only leads to over-indulging more often than not. Moreover, other than fat and sugar, this recipe provides the following healthy qualities which are known to promote positive health and wellbeing:
- Moderate in calories per serving
- A healthy balance of fat, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber
- Contain zero trans fats and low in sodium
- Good source of Vitamin A (11% DV), Vitamin Bs (9-11% DV), Folate (13% DV), manganese (14% DV), and selenium (11% DV)
- It also provides.43 cup equivalent of healthy whole fruits serving
The whole fruits added to the cake lends fair amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber (7% DV), vitamins like folate (13%) and B3 (8% DV), and antioxidants like vitamin A (10% DV) and selenium (10%DV). Apples and pears are rich in flavonoids, naturally occurring plant compounds that are known to help against chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Besides, using seasonal fruits is always a thumbs-up, and adding a blend of spices that are perfect for fall is a no-brainer. What is even better is that this cake does not need any frosting! Therefore, saving you from lots of extra fat and sugar calories.
Dietitian Nutritionist Recommendations:
Go ahead and enjoy a slice of this warm and seasonal Pear and Apple Upside Down Cake after a healthy balanced meal. Dietary fiber in the cake should help manage blood sugar spikes. But if you are a diabetic and have a glucose intolerance problem then please follow your medical advice.
Note: This cake recipe was prepared and submitted by Afsheen Syeda, Nutritionist, and edited by Shraddha Chaubey, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist