Spiced pear & pistachio upside down cake
Your new favorite winter cake recipe! Toasty and nutty pistachios + rich masala chai + juicy poached pears for a perfect cake recipe that fills your home with the best wintery spices.
Chai hot toddy
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
1½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons masala chai concentrate
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
2 cups sugar, divided
4 small ripe Bosc pears (about 1½ pounds), peeled, halved lengthwise, cored
1 cup unsalted, roasted pistachios
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon zero waste masala chai dust
4 large eggs
½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 350˚. Butter a 10"-diameter cake pan and line bottom with a parchment paper round; flour sides of pan. Cook chai concentrate, ¼ cup pomegranate molasses, 1/2 cup sugar, and remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Add pears, cut side up, and cook (undisturbed) until they begin to release their juices, about 3 minutes. Turn pears over and cook just until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly, then arrange pears, cut side down, in prepared pan.
Return skillet to medium heat and cook liquid in skillet until thickened and syrupy, about 5 minutes, depending on juiciness of pears. Pour syrup over pears and freeze while you prepare the batter (this is to allow syrup to set up—don’t let it freeze solid).
Pulse walnuts and remaining 1½ cups flour in food processor until walnuts are finely ground. Pulse in baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chai spice dust.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs, orange zest, and remaining 1½ cups sugar in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Fold in dry ingredients in 2 additions, fully incorporating before adding the next addition, then gradually mix in the melted butter. Pour batter over pears and smooth top.
Set pan on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake cake until top is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in pan, 15–20 minutes. Run knife around edges of cake to loosen and invert onto rack. Remove parchment and let cake cool completely. Before serving.