Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1 stick unsalted butter

  2. 2 tablespoons sugar

  3. 4 firm-ripe Anjou pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cored

  4. 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg, divided

  5. 1 cup all-purpose flour

  6. 3/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal (preferably white)

  7. 2 teaspoons baking powder

  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt

  10. 3/4 cup whole milk

  11. 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (preferably dark amber or Grade B)

  12. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  13. Accompaniments: pure maple syrup (for drizzling); sour cream

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

  2. Melt butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet. Brush a 9-inch cake pan (2 inches deep) with 1 tablespoon melted butter and reserve 6 tablespoons in a small bowl. Sprinkle sugar evenly over butter remaining in skillet. Arrange pears, cut sides up, in skillet and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes, then turn pears over and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. Cook until liquid pears give off has evaporated and cut sides are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes more.

  3. Transfer pears, cut sides down, to cake pan.

  4. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in a bowl. Whisk in milk, syrup, eggs, and reserved butter just until smooth. Pour over pears and bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then run a knife around edge of cake to loosen and invert onto a platter.


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