recipe: upside-down mother’s day cake


Note: This post was previously published as a part of my freelance work here.
Your mom. She’s the woman who breathed you life, the one that gave you your place in this world. When Mother’s Day rolls around, you don’t have to do anything extravagant to tell her you love her. Something thoughtful will do.

So why not bake a cake? And why not make it the most fantastical cake you could ever imagine? Try figs and dates and cranberries simmered in whiskey with apple cider, cinnamon, and aromatic rosemary. Delicious pears covered in a vanilla bourbon batter. The top of the cake looks wild like a garden. The fruit, the herbs, its intoxicating power – it is Mother Nature’s own masterpiece. 

This is a recipe to celebrate every mother and her graceful beauty. Mother’s Day is almost here…
½ Cup Chopped Dried Figs (pick your favorite kind or do a mix)
½ Cup Dried Cranberries
1/3 Cup Chopped Dried Dates
½ Cup Apple Cider
½ Cup Bourbon
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Sprig Rosemary
2 Pears
1 ¾ Sticks Butter, Softened
¾ Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 ½ Tsp Baking Powder
¼ Tsp Salt
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla
½ Cup Whole Milk
2 Tbs Bourbon

1.       Simmer cranberries, figs, dates, ½ cup bourbon, cider, rosemary, and cinnamon in a pan over low heat. Cook down until liquid is mostly gone.
1.       Remove rosemary & cinnamon. Pour into a colander, and let liquid drain into a bowl underneath. Set aside liquid for reserve.
2.       Preheat oven to 300F.
3.       Butter a 9-inch pan using ¾ stick of butter, and then evenly spread brown sugar on top.
4.       Core pears, and place them face down onto the brown sugar. Fill in extra spaces with the dried fruit mixture.
1.       Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) in a medium bowl.
2.       In a large bowl, beat together sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time followed by vanilla, reserved liquid, and 2 Tbs bourbon.
3.       Mix in dry ingredients, alternating with milk until fully integrated.
4.       Pour batter over fruit.
5.       Place 9-inch pan on a cookie tray to avoid any drip overs (bourbon on the bottom of an oven is never a good thing), and cook for about 45 minutes. Do the toothpick test to make sure it’s fully cooked through.
6.       Let cool, flip onto a plate, and serve.

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