Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sweet Cherry and Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake

I love when cherries are ripe but the season is so short! One week they are at the farm stands, the next week they are gone!  I try to cram as many cherry desserts in as possible before the juicy sweet fruit is gone for another year. I also happen to love upside-down cakes.  They are easy to make, impressive to present to guests, and adaptable to most any fruit. This recipe is a little different from most as the batter contains cornmeal.  It's not so much that it seems like you're eating a sweet cornbread but it definitely adds a little texture to the cake. The batter would work well with other stone fruits ripening later this summer, such as peaches, nectarines and plums.

A springform pan (also known as cheesecake pan) is used to make this cake.  This pan made it so easy to release the cake and invert onto a serving platter.  I had never thought to use a springform pan for an upside-down cake.  You learn something new every day!

I took this cake to my parents and it was devoured by all in attendance.  I served it with freshly whipped cream but a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be good, too!

Cherries, brown sugar, butter.  How can that not be good?

The cornmeal in the batter gives it a light yellow color and a soft crunchiness.

Sweet Cherry and Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake

1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
3/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 1/4 pounds sweet cherries, pitted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups cake flour
6 tablespoons cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup whole buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, and butter pan and parchment.

In a medium saucepan, heat brown sugar, 3 tablespoons of the butter, and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt over medium heat.  Cook, whisking occasionally, until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.  Pour mixture into prepared pan.  Arrange cherries in a single layer on top of butter mixture.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat granulated sugar, zest, and remaining 1/2 cup butter at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt.  In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and vanilla.

Reduce mixer speed to low.  Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.  Spread batter onto cherries.  Firmly tap pan on counter to settle batter between cherries and release air bubbles.  Place pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake until golden, puffed, and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes, rotating pan and covering with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Carefully remove ring; invert cake onto a serving board or platter.  Carefully remove parchment.  Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Recipe source: Bake From Scratch May/June 2017

1 comment:

  1. I like the way this recipe reads and will try it but I'm not seeing any fresh cherries right now. Don't you just LOVE the BAKE magazine. I'm thinking that Quiche in the same section is calling my name. Thought I might do a small brunch with girl friends on our screened porch before we begin to swelter from the humidity. This magazine is a keeper, I'm going to subscribe to it, I've just been picking it up at BAM when the new issue comes out. Each month I find so many things I want to bake. Your Cherry Upside Down Cake looks amazing.