Upside-Down Pear + Ginger Cake Recipe from Westport Farmers' Market

Lynn Felici-Gallant

Nothing says autumn more than the fragrance of dessert baking in the oven. And this autumn-lover can think of no better dessert to usher in cooler temperatures than Silvia Baldini’s Upside-Down Pear and Ginger Cake. This year, Westport Farmers’ Market goers are in for a special treat – Fort Hill Farm has fresh ginger! 

Fort Hill Farm of New Milford, is a 20-acre farm operating on land leased from The Nature Conservancy/Sunny Valley Preserve. Paul Bucciaglia and Rebecca Batchie operate Fort Hill Farm, which has been certified organic by Baystate Organic Certifiers since 2003 and adheres to the NOFA Farmers’ Pledge manifesto. Paul and Rebecca have had the pleasure of selling their produce directly to customers at the Westport Market for nearly a decade, fostering friendships born of the mutual appreciation of quality, fresh ingredients, and a desire to pass on the fruits of their farmcraft to other families within the community. 

We thank Paul and Rebecca for growing this exotic root, and Chef Baldini for this amazing recipe. Stop by the market this Thursday from 10 to 2 to pick up ingredients.

Upside-Down Pear and Ginger Cake Recipe



  • 2/3 stick of butter
  • ¾ cup soft brown sugar
  • 4 large, ripe, juicy pears
  • Ginger Bread Cake
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 2 large organic eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • ½ cup molasses or dark maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Make the topping
  3. Melt the butter and sugar together in a small pan over medium heat until bubbling, creamy, and medium-caramel color. Pour into a 9-inch square baking pan which has been lined with parchment and spread evenly by tilting the pan.
  4. Peel, core and cut the pears in half. (I occasionally don’t core them because they look prettier left whole.) Arrange the pears cut side down on the topping in the baking pan.

Make the ginger bread: 

Sift the flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves together in a bowl.

In another bowl, mix the beaten eggs, brown sugar, molasses, milk, and melted butter. Gently combine the flour mixture with the egg mixture to make a smooth batter. Pour over the pears in the baking pan

  1. Place the pan over an oven tray and bake for 45 to 55 minute until a skewer comes out clean from the center of the cake.
  2. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the pan. Carefully cover the top with a large serving plate and turn over quickly, emptying the cake onto the plate. Serve warm immediately or cool to room temperature. Note: The cake keeps well for a couple of days in an airtight container.

Shopping List:


soft brown sugar

4 large ripe pears

all-purpose flour

baking soda

fresh ginger 

ground cinnamon

ground nutmeg

ground cloves

2 eggs

molasses or maple syrup

Contributed by CHOPPED Champion Silvia Baldini
Chef and Founder of Strawberry and Sage 

Other activities of note this week: The Cottage is the Chef of the Market; the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce is the featured non-profit; Tynne’s Tinctures will be our special guest, and Get Growing is sponsored by Mill Street Bar & Table. Come shop with us at 50 Imperial Avenue Thursday from 10 to 2.