Pear, Rosemary & Rye Upside Down Cake

Unlike its tinned pineapple and glacier cherry forerunner, this cake is neither too sickly nor too heavy, making it the perfect cake. The deep, earthy flavour of rye flour works beautifully alongside the sweetness of the pears. We've also thrown in a little rosemary, which gently infuses the cake with its savoury aromatics. Bay leaves or thyme would work well too, as would apples or quinces. 

Pear, Rosemary & Rye Upside Down Cake 

Pear, Rosemary & Rye Upside Down Cake 

Serves 10

100g light brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
Approx 2 pears, cored, peeled and cut into 8 slices
2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked
125g golden caster sugar
225g softened butter
4 eggs beaten with 3 tablespoons milk
150g ground walnuts
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
150g wholemeal rye flour

Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160/350F/gas 4. Grease and line a 23cm diameter cake tin. Scatter the base with the 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, then arrange the pear slices in concentric circles, tucking each slice under the one next to it, until the base is completely covered. Scatter over the rosemary leaves and put to one side.

In a food processor or by hand, cream together the remaining soft brown sugar, caster sugar and  butter until pale and light. Start adding the eggs and milk mix, a little at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition. Fold in the walnuts, baking powder, salt and rye flour and mix well.

Pour over the pears, then sit on a baking tray and place in the oven for 60-70 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. You may want to protect the top from burning with a little baking paper after 45 minutes or so.

Rest the cake in the tin for 30 minutes before running a knife around the edge to loosen it. Place a large plate on top and carefully invert onto the plate. Remove the tin and replace any dislodged pieces of fruit. Leave to cool, then eat with crème fraiche.