It’s Thanksgiving! If you’re in the USA, I hope you’re having a good one so far. It is time for Asymptotia to take a trip to the kitchen, this time to make a dessert contribution to a meal at some friends’ Thanksgiving dinner party. I was going to make an apple pie, like I did some years back for a Thanksgiving, but apparently one of the other guests is bringing one. So I went with another simple and reliable preparation, an upside down cake with something seasonal on it. I went to the farmer’s market at Barnsdall Park yesterday (I missed my usual, the Hollywood one, since it is on Sunday and I was in New York that day) and saw that they had pluquats (crosses between plums and apricots), and they were the prime candidates for the cakes (plural since I decided to do two). I made them earlier today.
It started with chopping up the fruit into thick slices and making the topping. This is made from a stick of butter (half a cup – I am using US measurements), melted in a skillet and then cooked for a few minutes on a low flame with 3/4 cup of sugar and some spices (nutmeg and cinnamon, ground – my addition). I put that at the bottom of the ten inch pan I had ready. (I did two copies of everything, by the way) Then I laid out a generous layer of the fruit in the sugar/butter mix.
Next it was time for the cake part. This is a fairly standard cake mix, with 3/4 cup of sugar creamed with a stick of butter for a while until creamy (put in a teaspoon and a half of vanilla essence, some more ground nutmeg and cinnamon) and then beat in two large eggs one at a time and beat some more until much lighter. Then 3/4 a cup of buttermilk and 1 and 3/4 cup of four (fully mixed with 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda) goes in, and the recipe (from Epicurious) recommends mixing those in in alternating batches (four mix, then some buttermilk, then flour mix, buttermilk, flour mix). Don’t overmix – only just mix them in in each step.
Then it goes over the fruit base and you’re ready to bake them in the middle of the pre-heated to 375 degree F oven for about 45 minutes, doing the usual checks near the end to test doneness. Put a plate on the bottom and flip it over, and if it all works out, it’ll look like the picture at the top!