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Old fashioned upside down cake topped with juicy seasonal pears and glistening cranberries is a festive holiday treat. Desserts that include fruit are a great way to end with something sweet that’s good for you

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  • 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 med ripe but firm pears (bartlett or anjou)
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 C packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 C whole frozen cranberries, unthawed
  • 2 tbsp. whole frozen cranberries, unthawed
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C orange juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt


    1. Step 1To make the topping: Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 375°F. Place the lemon juice in a shallow bowl. Peel, halve, and core the pears, then cut each half lengthwise into 5 or 6 slices. Add the pears to the lemon juice, tossing to coat.
    2. Step 2In a 9″ round baking pan, combine the butter, brown sugar, and syrup. Stir over medium heat until the butter and sugar melt, and the mixture starts to bubble. Remove the pan from the heat. Position the pear slices in a circle, overlapping slightly, with the narrow necks toward the center. Pile a 2″ cluster of cranberries in the center of the pan. Arrange the remaining cranberries around the outside edge of the pan. Carefully place the pan in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.
    3. Step 3To make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, brown sugar, syrup, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir together until well blended.
    4. Step 4Pour the batter evenly over the fruit in the pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake on a rack for 2 to 3 minutes, then run a knife between the cake and the side of the pan. Top the pan with a flat serving plate, and invert. Cool the cake for about 5 minutes, then cut it into slices, and serve.

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