For more than 100 ways to enjoy a slice of cake this year, look no further than Brooke Bell's aptly titled cookbook, Cake. This one has ginger, pear and the crunchiest sugar topping around, and bakes up in your trusty cast-iron skillet.
Ginger Pear Skillet Cake
Recipe adapted from "Cake," by Brooke Bell
Yield: One 10-inch cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
3 large eggs
¾ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1¾ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup crème fraîche
1 pound pears, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger, divided
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a 10-inch enamel-coated cast-iron skillet.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and 1½ cups sugar with a mixer At medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in almond extract.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with crème fraîche, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Fold in half of pears and 1½ tablespoons ginger. Spoon batter into prepared skillet, spreading to edges. Arrange remaining pears and remaining 1½ tablespoons ginger on top, slightly pressing into batter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.
4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes, covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Let cool completely on a wire rack.