Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Si, comadres, it has been quite a while since the last post. Much is going on, most of it very good. However, after a few courageous attempts at putting a bit more sabor into this blog, it was nearly was wiped off the dashboard. Ay-yai, yai! After much time spent in prayer and a good deal of persistence, La Vida Dulce came back to life. Gracias a Dios!

Just in time for a post-Thanksgiving dessert, we present a lovely little confection, adapted from an Emily Luchetti recipe recently presented on the PBS show, "The Holiday Table" with that kind looking gentleman, Chris Fennimore. Dede Wilson hosted the show with him in seasons past, but Emily is truly up to the task. She is one of my favorite pastry chefs, you must check out her books from the library or on Rather than individual little cakes, this one was baked the old-fashioned way in an old cast iron skillet. Add a dollop of sweetened whipped cream, or serve with vanilla ice cream as shown above, it's a nice contrast to the tartness of the cranberries. Enjoy!

adapted from Emily Luchetti, "The Holiday Table"

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup plus extra fresh cranberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 large eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup AP flour, white whole wheat is OK, it gives a nuttier flavor
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Into a 10" cast iron skillet, add the butter and brown sugar and place in the oven. While the butter is melting, into a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs, pumpkin and oil. Sift the dry ingredients onto a sheet of waxed paper, then stir them into the pumpkin mixture, do not over-mix.

Remove the cast iron pan from the oven and stir the butter and sugar until smooth. Place a layer of cranberries on the bottom of the pan, then add the chopped pecans. Spread the pumpkin batter over the top, in an even layer. Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a dinner knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then place a cake plate on top of the skillet and invert the cake. Serve warm with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.