Monday, October 21, 2013

SRC: Ginger-Pear Skillet Cake

After a two month baby hiatus I'm back to my monthly Secret Recipe Club!  It's crazy to think that the last time I completed an assignment in July I had no baby and now, I have an absolutely adorable two month old baby boy.  I shared a picture of him with his "month birthday" cupcake on Saturday and let's just say that this mama has a new favorite photography subject :).

This month I received Kristy's blog, Gastronomical Sovereignty.  I'll admit that now that I'm a mommy, I don't always have a ton of time to browse blogs and read the content that goes along with each post but Kristy is gosh darn funny.  I truly enjoyed reading through her commentary.  Another thing I found in common with her was that we both partake in CSAs (community supported agriculture).  If only I had known about her blog when I was still getting my weekly boxes and standing there wondering what to make with my umpteenth bunch of chard...

What's wonderful about a CSA besides supporting a local farmer is that you know you're getting food that's fresh and in season.  When food is in season and not shipped from thousands of miles away, it's fresh and at its peak.  It's better tasting and full of nutrition...the way that Nature had intended.

This is why I chose a seasonal recipe from Kristy's blog.  I went straight for the "Fall" tag and was excited to make a cake in my cast iron skillet.  It's something that I've always wanted to try.  When I was baking this cake, my house smelled like Autumn.  Warm spices that taste like gingerbread and juicy pears.  It was heavenly.

Christine's Kitchen Chronicles: Ginger-Pear Skillet Cake

Top it with some vanilla ice cream and your life will be complete...

Christine's Kitchen Chronicles: Ginger-Pear Skillet Cake

I had to wait until supper time to make it a la mode and enjoy this beauty because I was bringing it to my in-laws' house.  I'm always fascinated by how natural light (see the third photo on this post) versus artificial (first two photos) makes a huge difference in the quality of the photo.  That's one down side to Fall's arrival is shorter days = less light = uglier food photos.  Sorry about that!

One Year Ago: Cinnamon Sugar Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts
Two Years Ago: Apple Pie Cookies
Four Years Ago: Christine's Fried Rice

Ginger-Pear Skillet Cake

Christine's Kitchen Chronicles: Ginger-Pear Skillet Cake


For the Cake
  • 2 1/3 C Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves (optional)
  • 1/4 C Canola, Grapeseed, or Other Neutral Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 C Gently Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 C Unsulfered Dark Molasses
  • 1/2 C Plain Whole Milk Yogurt or Sour Cream
  • 1 TBSP Fresh Ginger, finely grated
  • 1 Large Egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 C Hot, Fresh Brewed Strong Coffee (recommended) or Boiling Water
For the Topping
  • 4 Firm-Ripe Pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices (Bosc or Anjou are good)
  • 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 C Gently Packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp Kosher Salt
  1. Place rack of oven on the lower third and preheat to 325F. Generously grease a 10 or 11 inch cast-iron skillet. 
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, ground ginger, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves (if using). Set aside. Whisk together the oil, brown sugar, molasses, yogurt, fresh ginger, and egg in a large bowl until well blended and smooth. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in half of the flour mixture. Stir the baking soda into the hot coffee until dissolves, then add to the batter and stir until combined. Stir in the remaining flour. Transfer the batter to the prepared skillet and spread evenly. 
  3. Arrange the longer slices of pear in a circle along the edge of the pan, overlapping them slightly and with the narrow ends pointing toward the center. Arrange the shortest slices in a second circle in the center to cover the batter completely. Dot the pear slices with the butter along the outer circle only. Mix together the brown sugar and salt and sprinkle evenly over the top.
  4. Bake until the top springs back when you press it lightly in the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes up clean, about 1 hour. Transfer the skillet to the stove top to cool for at least 20 minutes. 
  5. Cut cake into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Source: Farmers' Market Desserts by Jennie Schacht as seen on Gastronomical Sovereignty


Unknown said...

Oh yay Christine!! I'm SO glad you made this cake! It's seriously one of my favorite Autumn recipes - the ginger and pear and ice cream are seriously everything that's good in the world.

Also, I agree about the natural light in your food photography! In the Winter, I deliberately make an extra serving of everything that will be posted on the blog so I can take pictures the next day when the light is better (it also means lunch for me!)...

I'm glad you enjoy my (Jennie's) cake - she's fabulous and I'm sure she'd be honored! In fact, I'll let her know you did!

Happy SRC reveal friend!!

A Couple in the Kitchen said...

That is just so lovely. And it sounds delicious too.

SeattleDee said...

The depth of flavor in this skillet cake must be amazing! Ginger and pear play so well together and the gingerbread like spices contribute so much flavor and aroma.... YUM!

Lisa | Authentic Suburban Gourmet said...

What a stunning cake and love how you make it in a cast iron skillet. PErfect. Glad to be part of SRC group C with you.

Karen - Cinnamon Freud said...

Love desserts that use pears- this looks great.

Jennie said...

Hi Christine! Kristy pointed me to your blog and I am so honored that you chose my recipe from all the great recipes on her blog. It's a great reminder that it's time for me to make one, too! Extra funny thing: Kristy recently did an amazing redo for my blog, {fork & swoon], at When I hired her I learned that she had my Farmers' Market Desserts Book. Small world! Please come on by for more recipes. And thanks again for sharing my cake!!

TeaLady said...

I love baking in my skillet and don't do it often enough. But this, this I have to try.

Denise Browning@From Brazil To You said...

What a delightful cake, Christine!