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+ servings

Upside-Down Pear Pancake


  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • ¼ cup natural sugar (such as Sugar in the Raw or turbinado)
  • cup all-purpose flour (I used oat flour instead of all-purpose to make it gluten-free and had great results)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking spice blend (see notes above)
  • ¼ tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup buttermilk, well-shaken
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ firm-ripe Bosc or Barlett pears (about ¾ pound)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 400° F.

  • Vanilla Sugar
  • In a small bowl, add the sugar and the vanilla seeds that have been scraped from the pod
  • Rub the sugar and seeds together until the seeds are unclumped and mixed through

  • Pancake Batter
  • Into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, baking spices (if using), and 1 Tbsp of the vanilla sugar.
  • In a well-seasoned 10-inch oven-safe skillet, melt the butter over moderately low heat before removing from heat.
  • In a bowl whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and 1 Tbsp melted butter, leaving the remaining butter in the skillet. Whisk into the flour mixture until just combined.
  • Let batter stand 15 minutes

  • Pears
  • Peel and core pears and cut lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick wedges
  • Add pears to remaining vanilla sugar with lemon juice, tossing to coat.
  • Arrange pears decoratively in butter remaining in skillet.
  • Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over pears and cook over moderate heat until barely tender and sugar begins to caramelize (~ 8 minutes)

  • Pear Pancake
  • Pour batter evenly over pears and bake for 7 minutes
  • Reduce temperature to 350°F and bake 5-7 minutes more, or until the top is golden and center is firm to the touch
  • Immediately run a thin knife around edge of skillet
  • Invert a plate over skillet and invert cake onto plate (keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together)
  • Carefully lift the skillet off of the cake and replace any fruit stuck to the bottom.
  • Serve pancake with warm maple syrup