Upside-down is tops

When it’s as cold as it has been in New York recently, there is nothing better than baking a cake.

Ashley and I were looking at a great recipe for pineapple and cardamon upside-down cake, but wanted to adapt it to something more seasonal. We ended up modifying this recipe for pears to help keep our apartment warm and our bellies full.
We didn’t bother peeling the pears, but we did core them with a spoon.
As one would do with a tarte tatin, we heated the butter and sugar in a oven-safe frying pan and, once it was warm and bubbly, added the pear slices in a swirl. Rather than use pineapple juice, we bought some pear nectar. 
We didn’t have any cardamon on hand, so we went to the store for some fresh stuff. It was so fresh, in fact, that although we used the lesser amount in the range recommended in the recipe, the flavor was still a bit more dominant than we would prefer. Ashley thought it tasted a bit reminiscent of an Indian sweet, like Gulab Jamun. Were we to make it again, I’d probably add it at the end and go 1/8th of a teaspoon at a time.
Once the batter was mixed, we poured it over the pears, and put the in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes.
We did add a final touch (on a slice-by-slice basis): we sprinkled a few drops of black strap rum over the finished cake.
Cardamon-dominance or not, it was divine.

Does anyone have favorite non-pineapple upside-down cakes? I’m a huge fan of the genre.

(P.S. Ashley’s latest Serious Eats post will be up on the site today–check it out!)

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