after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake (with pix!)

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t says: Once upon a time, in October 2009, g and her cousin d had a hankering for cranberries.  In southern jersey are some serious cranberry bogs, although perhaps cranberries don’t get as much press as Hammonton’s blueberries.  This year, we tracked down a somewhat nearby cranberry farm: Fox’s Cranberries in Weekstown, NJ.  While, yes, google said that there were many others we could have visited, only Fox’s would allow us to pick a few on our own (and they were really nice over the phone – definitely a family run operation).  g, d, d’s friend, and I drove to Weekstown.  It took some adventuring (as their driveway was perhaps the most “off-road” we had ever gone in our car), but we easily arrived with the help of the blinking blue dot on our iphone’s maps application.

Ann, one of the owners, showed us around the farm, introduced us to her husband, Bill, who was out in the bogs with the harvesters, and let us watch them harvest.  She filled us in on the workings of the farm, the nature of the cranberry, and what it’s like to eat/breathe/sleep cranberries.  She also let us pick a few pounds from one of their bogs (they don’t flood the bogs to harvest here) on our own, which was amazing (she probably thought we were crazy for having so much fun doing something that machines could do far more easily).  On our way back from the bogs, she showed us the cranberry sorting equipment and the stocks they were going to sell.  We bought a few more pounds of cranberries (for some ridiculously low price – we spent less than $5 and got more cranberries than any four sane people should be in possession of – grocery stores are a TOTAL rip!!).  She then gave us this recipe for an Upside Down Cranberry Cake (among others).  g made it a total of four times within 10 days (between making it for our friends and her co-workers).  It’s super-easy.  I imagine one could also use frozen cranberries – I’m not sure how the temperature or added moisture would affect baking so perhaps it would be wise to temper and dry them before use.

Ingredients:

__ 2+ c cranberries (enough to cover the bottom of a 9″ pie plate)
__ 0.5 c chopped nuts (we crushed some almonds and toasted them in a dry fry pan)
__ 1.5 c sugar
__ 0.75 c melted butter (should be creamy, not transparent yellow liquid)
__ 1 c flour
__ 2 eggs
__ 2 tsp almond extract.

Methods:

0)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pour cranberries into 9″ pie plate until the bottom is completely covered with a cranberry monolayer.  Remove those cranberries and set aside.  Grease the pie plate (we’ve used glass and metal pans with Pam-for-baking – both worked great – and other greasing fats are probably fine).

1)  Mix a pie-plate’s worth of cranberries, all of the nuts, and 0.5 c sugar in a bowl.  After well combined, pour into pie plate.  Try not to agitate too much, as this will cause the nuts and sugar to fall through to the bottom of pie plate (and ultimately be lost when you invert the plate).  Yes, some loss is inevitable.

2)  Beat together the butter, flour, remaining sugar, eggs, and extract.  BEAT AS LITTLE AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE – just to uniformity – not to smoothness.  It is very easy to over-beat this mixture (we did 2 out of 4 times); an over-beaten batter will not be cakey when baked.

3)  Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  When done, carefully loosen around the edge with a knife.  Invert it to your serving plate of choice.  Cool.  Enjoy!

4)  Start prepping a second cake when you realize you ate the first one by yourself …

Options:

1)  j made a variant of this using strawberries and was happy with the results.  I had my doubts as strawberries have a lot of water.  Alas, j’s no liar – I made it with strawberries and it was quite good (you get a nice syrupy topping) – just do your best to dry the strawberries as much as possible.  Here’s a pic (I also used a 9″ square pan in this case because our pie pan was being used for … a pie).

If this was at my workplace ... it'd be gone by 1pm for sure ...

Written by afterdinnersneeze

15 February 2010 at 6:18pm

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