Pear Sottosopra at Babbo

Pear Sottosopra


Makes one 9-inch cake

For the dough

3 large eggs

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 ½ sticks butter, melted

1 cup all-purpose flour


For the topping

¼ pound dark brown sugar (about ½ cup, packed)

6 tablespoons heavy cream

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ teaspoon salt


For the sottosopra 

5 pears, ripe and fragrant

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

A pinch of salt

½ cup sugar


For the brandy Anglaise

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ cup heavy cream

1 ripe pear

2 tablespoons brandy or cognac


To serve

¾ cup sliced almonds

Vanilla ice cream

Candied ginger, minced





Make the dough

Crack eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (use a large mixing bowl if you’re using a whisk or a beater). Add sugar and salt, then turn the mixer to medium-high.


Whip until the egg mixture has tripled in volume and lightened in color. Slow the mixer, then add vanilla, cinnamon and melted butter, in a slow drizzle.


Make sure the butter has cooled a bit before adding it to the eggs.


Let the batter mix completely, then stop the mixer, add flour, and gradually bring the mixer up to medium speed. Mix until smooth, then cover mixing bowl and chill for at least 2 hours.


You can also make the dough a day or two in advance.


Make the topping

Melt ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook for one minute, whisking continually, then remove from heat. Transfer the mixture to a container and whisk periodically until cooled. Whisking will keep the butter from floating to the top.


Assemble the cake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.


Cut and core the pears, then slice them into ½-inch thick pieces. Toss the pear slices in lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and salt, then let sit for about 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, toast the sliced almonds in the oven until golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Watch them carefully to avoid burning.


Pour the topping into a 9-inch cake pan, then lay out the pears in an even layer. Spoon the dough on top of the pears as evenly as possible, then bake until the top is golden brown, about 1 hour, or until a knife inserted in the top part of the cake comes out clean (the bottom will stay ooey-gooey, and we like that).


Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes


Make the Anglaise

Core and dice the pears. Heat cream and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Once boiling, add pears and maintain a simmer for 5 minutes, reducing heat if necessary. Remove from heat, puree, then strain sauce through a mesh sieve. Stir in the brandy or cognac and set aside.


To Serve

After cooling, flip the cake out onto a large plate or platter. Slice into wedges and serve each wedge with a sprinkle of toasted almonds, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a couple spoonfuls of brandy Anglaise, and a scattering of minced candied ginger.

See the recipe

Yumbang Oh Yeah

Pear Sottosopra at Babbo

Watch Babbo’s Rebecca DeAngelis bake a sweet and indulgent pear upside-down cake, complete with brandy Anglaise, toasted almonds and candied ginger.

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