1 cup ( 4 oz , 112 grams ) blanched almonds
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
6 T ( 84 grams ) unsalted butter , at room temperature
1 cup sugar ( I reduced it to 2/3 cup )
2 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 T ( 28 grams ) unsalted butter
3 T packed light brown sugar
2 Anjou pears , cored , and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
*Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C . In a food processor fitted with the metal blade , process the almonds until finely ground , almost like bread crumbs . In a medium bowl , combine the ground almonds , flour , and baking powder . Stir to blend .
* With an electric mixer on medium speed or in a food processor fitted with a metal blade , beat the butter until softened . Gradually beat in the sugar and continue to beat the mixture until it is thick and pale in color . Add the eggs , one at a time , and beat until incorporated . Gradually beat in the flour mixture and the orange juice , mixing just to combine . Set aside .
* To prepare the pears : In a well-seasoned 9-inch cast iron skillet , melt the butter over medium-high heat . Add the brown sugar , stir to dissolve , and cook until bubbly . Add the pear slices in a single layer . Cook in the syrup for about 2 minutes per side , or until both sides are lightly caramelized . Use tongs to move them around . Remove from heat and let cool fro 3 minutes .
* Pour the batter over the pear mixture and gently spread it around to cover the pears . Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean . Let cool for 10 minutes , then invert it into a cake plate . Serve warm or at room temperature .
Bald Spot Alert !!!!