Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I'm so excited! Tomorrow I'm heading down South for my first US Thanksgiving with my boyfriend's family. Then right after dinner I will start chugging coffee in preparation for the all-night Black Friday shopping extravaganza!
This recipe was made using some cherries I had frozen from the summer. However, I bet it would be great with cranberries as a tribute to the fall harvest. I never have a problem with using frozen berries instead of fresh. Sometimes, especially with blueberries, I prefer the frozen ones because they don't squish and bleed when you are mixing them into the batter.
I love the rustic look of upside-down cakes and the thrill that you get when you flip it onto a serving dish. Will it stick? Will the fruit have baked evenly? Will it be pretty? I'm pretty happy with how this cake turned out - especially served with fresh whipped cream.
Cherry Upside-Down Cake
8" Cake | adapted from Martha Stewart Baking Handbook
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 lbs sweet cherries, stemmed, pitted, and halved
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup almond paste (not marzipan), crumbled
3 large eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup milk
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degreest F. Butter an 8-by-3-inch round cake pan, and line bottom with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 2 tablespoons butter with ¼ cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spread evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Arrange apricot halves, cut sides down, in pan. Fit cherries into any gaps between apricots. Pack down the fruit slightly with your hands; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat remaining6 tablespoons butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Add almond paste and ¾ cup sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg yolks, and beat until well combined. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Add the flour mixture in two parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined, and set aside.In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining ¼ cup sugar, and beat until soft peaks form. Fold a third of egg-white mixture into the batter with a spatula. Gently fold in remaining egg whites.
3. Spread batter over fruit, smoothing with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 60-70 mins. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Run a knife or small offset spatula around the edges to loosen, and invert cake onto a serving plate to cool completely. Cake can be kept at room temperature, loosely covered with foil, for up to 3 days.