Dessert on the Grill

No longer are barbecues limited to meats and veggies.With Weber’s New Real Grilling: The ultimate cookbook for every backyard griller by Jamie Purviance, you can expand your horizons and include dessert with your list of grill-ables!

With recipes for cakes, cookies and grilled fruits, a door is opened into a whole new realm of possibilities that can take your backyard barbecues from standard to superb. Offering a new use for your grill, what better way to use this easy piece of equipment from a meal’s start to finish?

Pear Upside-Down Cake

SERVES: 8–10

PREP TIME: 30 minutes

GRILLING TIME: 47 minutes–1 hour

special equipment: 12-inch cast-iron skillet

6    tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, divided

7    firm but ripe pears, about 3 pounds total, peeled, halved, and cored

½    cup packed golden brown sugar

½    teaspoon kosher salt

¼    teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼    teaspoon ground ginger


1¼ cups cake flour

1    teaspoon baking powder

¼    teaspoon baking soda

¼    teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼    teaspoon ground ginger

¼    teaspoon kosher salt

½    cup whole milk

½    cup sour cream

2    large eggs

2    teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½    cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

?    cup granulated sugar

Lightly sweetened whipped cream

1. Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).

2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Brush the butter on both sides of the pear halves. Grill the pears over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until nicely marked, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once. Remove from the grill and let cool.

3. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet combine the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, the brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger. Close the lid and cook over direct medium heat until the sugar is melted and the liquid starts to bubble slightly around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Wearing insulated barbecue mitts, remove the skillet from the grill and place on a sheet pan. Arrange the pear halves in the skillet, flat side down and overlapping if necessary, starting at the edge of the skillet and working in toward the center. Set aside.

4. In a medium bowl combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. In a small bowl whisk the milk, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. With the mixer on low, add the milk mixture and then the flour mixture. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Pour the batter evenly over the pears in the skillet, smoothing it with a rubber spatula, if necessary.

5. Bake the cake over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, keeping the temperature as close to 350°F as possible, until the top is golden brown and a skewer or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Wearing insulated barbecue mitts, remove the skillet from the grill and let cool for 10 minutes. (If the cake stays in the skillet longer than 10 minutes, the topping will begin to harden and it will be difficult for the cake to release.)

6. Remove the cake from the skillet by running a paring knife around the edge to loosen it. Place a serving platter large enough to hold the cake over the top of the skillet. Carefully invert the skillet and platter at the same time, and then slowly remove the skillet. If any pears have stuck to the bottom of the skillet, use a spatula to remove them, and replace them on top of the cake. Let the cake cool slightly before cutting it into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature topped with whipped cream.

©2013 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Recipe from Weber’s New Real Grilling™ by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission.