Saturday, April 23, 2011

Upside down pear cake and an Easter egg tree

This was how I repayed both the grandmothers for some recent babysitting. An upside down pear cake pillaged from a similar recipe by Bill Granger. The original recipe is for a plum cake but I think it works even better with pears. It also works well when done dairy free which most things in this house are, due to Roboboy being dairy allergic. Aside from the caramel which I managed to stuff up twice before not burning it on the third try, it is also pretty easy. I'll post the recipe at the end for anyone who is keen to wow some family members.

Dairy allergies when they are significant tend to make Easter not quite so much fun. Yep. No chocolate. At all. We did manage to find some dairy free chocolate at Darryl Lea but unfortunately they did not have any eggs. So we have bought normal chocolate eggs for the kids to hunt and then will pull out the chocolate rabbits  for the eating part. We also have a large collection of plastic eggs that we can insert other lollies into so the Easter bunny will not have to bypass our house completely.

We also have some awesome family who go out of their way to make Easter really fun despite being pretty devoid of chocolate. Nothing like spending a sleepover with your Grammy and crafting an assortment of chicks and bunnies and eggs. Then going to the $2 shop and having her buy you not one but two packs of glow- sticks.
See what a happy child this is clutching said glow- sticks. Who needs chocolate?

And that same Grammy, snuck off to decorate an Easter tree in our yard, complete with little treasures and toys hanging in little bags or concealed within plastic eggs.

And being the crochet guru that she is, a little crocheted cupcake pin cushion for me.

And then we thought, why don't we bring them all inside and decorate our own Easter tree? Partly as Liongirl had pulled every single one down in her gusto to find the concealed treats and also as several were crocheted eggs, we didn't want to risk rain overnight. One little bag was full of new crocheted hair clips like this favourite one.

So Legoman climbed our fence and knocked down a lovely dead branch from one of our Jacaranda trees. And of course we had to open all 20 of those glowsticks as well and make little bracelet chains to decorate the tree. Kind of like a glowing welcoming beacon so the Easter Bunny would be sure to make a stop.

Sorry about the dim light but we are trying to showcase the glowsticks. Note the background being two-tone custard on the left and cream on the right as proof that I have been trying to choose a white paint for our walls.
So, just a little easter inspiration that does not involve a single drop of chocolate. I have a feeling the easter tree might become a little bit of a tradition at our place. Well, must go and show that rabbit where all the good hiding spots are in our garden then I plan to scarf down toasted hot cross buns slathered in butter.

The recipe for the Upside down pear (or fruit of your choice) cake :

1. Set oven to 180 degrees

2. Peel and thinly slice 2 pears and arrange decoratively within the base of a 30 cm wide pan. I used a quiche dish.

3. Melt 50g butter (or nuttelex) on low heat. Add 115 g caster sugar and 1 tbs lemon juice and stir frequently until caramelises. Do not attempt to do anything else while watching this stage or it will burn (possibly twice if you are really incompetent). Pour this over the pears the minute it has changed to a golden colour as opposed to a pale yellow colour. (This is completely not what Bill says in his recipe but when I listed to him I burnt it TWICE).

4.Separate 4 eggs. Beat the whites to frothy peaks and set aside.

5.Cream 100g butter (or nuttelex) with 225g caster sugar until light and fluffy. Add 1 tsp vanilla essence. Add egg yolks one at a time and beat thoroughly. Add 1 and quarter cups SR flour and mix until smooth.

6. Gently fold in egg whites with metal spoon. Pour mixture over pears.

7. Bake in oven for 40 mins or until skewer comes out clean.

8. Despite not greasing or using any baking paper this will just slip straight out and look completely caramelly and golden gooey delicious. Yes, even I did not muff this bit. Eat immediately with lashings of whipped cream. Also quite lovely cold too. Would easily serve 12 people. Having said that 6 of us ate 3/4 of it!.


  1. haha. this is way too cute. love the glow sticks. that cake looks deeeelicious!

  2. Hey! Happy Easter to you lot! I love the Easter egg tree and the efforts of your Grammy. She sounds legendary in terms of amusing small people and her crocheting skills! Glow sticks definitely a necessary decoration on easter trees. I hope that "the girls" also did their bit and laid some eggs for Easter... how is the "point of lay" going? And as for your baking skills - you are turning into a veritable domestic goddess. I've got a new oven, why don't you come over our side of the world and bake up a storm? Love, M