Pear Almond Skillet Cake


This dessert is simple yet impressive. Use the most flavorful pears you can find that are of medium firmness.

Pear Almond Skillet Cake
Serves: 1 (12-inch) cake
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 3 small Bartlett pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cored (about 1½ pounds)
  • 1½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
  • Sweetened whipped cream, to serve
  1. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add pears, cut side down; cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Remove from skillet. Let skillet cool, and wipe clean. Lightly spray skillet with baking spray with flour.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°.
  3. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar, extracts, and remaining 1 cup butter 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.
  4. 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 sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Spread batter in prepared skillet. Arrange pear halves, cut side up, on top of batter. Sprinkle with almonds and 2 teaspoons granulated sugar.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 2 teaspoons granulated sugar onto warm cake. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with whipped cream.
This cake is best served the day it’s made, as the pears will darken over time.