Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cranberry Upside Downer

There's something so comforting about upside down cakes. Warm fruit on top with a delicious delicate cake underneath. It's the best!

No I know it's a little odd to be surrounded by so much fresh fruit now that summer is in full swing but I came across this recipe and remembered the two bags of frozen cranberries I still had left in the freezer. I could have used fresh pears or apples but I just love the flavor of cranberries...and oh, that beautiful color! Let's think Christmas in July.

I found this wonderful book called " Sweet Times, Simple Desserts for Every Occasion" and guess who wrote it? Dorie Greenspan. It's from 1991 and I didn't even know about this book til I came upon it at a local outdoor art show in the park this weekend. They had a booth of all kinds of books and this one just jumped out at me! Lucky me!

This cake is easy to make and would be perfect for a quick dessert to make for company. It's great just with a dollop of whipped cream. Dorie suggests using pears or apples and I could really see how apples would be ideal since there's a full teaspoon of cinnamon in the batter. Now that would be a great Fall dessert.

I used a round cake pan but I bet you could also use a cast iron skillet like I did for this cake.

Brush the top with red currant jelly ( or really any jelly flavor you have would, I'm sure, be fine).

The cake is delicious warm or room temperature. And don't forget the whipped cream.

Cranberry Upside Downer, from "Sweet Times" by Dorie Greenspan

6 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup pecans or walnuts ( I used chopped pecans but you can also use halves)
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen ( not thawed)
1 cup AP flour ( I used 4.5 ozs.)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs, room temp.
1/3 cup milk, room temp.
1/3 cup red currant jelly
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for garnish

1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350. Get ready an 8" round cake pan.
2. Melt the 6 tbsp. butter in a small saucepan, then add the 6 tbsp. sugar and stir til the mixture comes to a boil. Pour this evenly over the bottom of the cake pan.
3. Sprinkle the nuts over this, then the cranberries, in a single layer. Set aside.
4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
5. Cream the butter, then add in the 1/2 cup of sugar and continue to beat on medium speed til the mixture is pale and creamy, about 3 minutes.
6. Add in the vanilla, then beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
7. With the mixer on low speed, add in half the dry mixture, mixing only til combined.
8. Gently mix in the milk, then add the remainder of the flour mixture.
9. Spoon the batter over the cranberries and smooth out the top.
10. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or til the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Run a knife around the sides of the pan and turn the cake out onto a cake plate. ( If any berries stick to the pan, just scrape them off with a knife and spread them on the cake).
Warm the jelly, just til it liquifies,  (I warmed in the microwave) and brush onto the top of the cake.
Serve the cake warm or at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I love fresh cranberries. I agree, I don't think there is anything wrong with a little Christmas in July.



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