Cran-Raspberry Upside Down Cake

Cran-Raspberry Upside Down Cake

March 10, 2015

I’ve made Rose’s upside-down cakes before–pineapple I think. Her sour cream batter is ridiculously delicious. Honestly though, I felt uncertain about caramelizing cranberries, as I prefer them fresh and uncooked. After all, the charm of upside down cake is the caramelized fruit. The typical method with pineapple or apples is to melt butter and brown sugar in a skillet, caramelize the fruit directly in the pan, layer the cake batter over the fruit, and bake it in the skillet (or in a cake pan if you prefer). Even then, the sugar usually doesn’t reach 330F because the apples or pineapple would dissolve. But for this recipe, Rose cooks the butter and sugar to the caramel stage independently, cools it in a cake pan, rolls the raw cranberries over the cooled sugar, smooths the cake batter over the fruit, then bakes it (on a baking stone if you need more caramelization). I find this a very clever go around on tradition.

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Instructions

CRANBERRY TOPPING

  • Cooking the sugar, butter, lemon zest and juice was strange because the sugar didn’t really dissolve, but it melted instead. Without any water to temper the heat, the temperature rose quickly. The sugar began to darken and by the time it hit the proper temp, it appeared over cooked. Looking at the picture in the book, Rose’s cranberries didn’t look caramelized at all. I felt so uncertain. In the end (after the FB post) I decided to continue with what I had and see what happens. I’m fortunate to have had whole fresh cranberries that were left over from January! They last forever.
The cranberries waiting for the batter.
The cranberries waiting for the batter.

CAKE BATTER

  • Making this batter is as easy as it gets. Really. Maybe I’ve made too many. Though I did make one small change; I added ½ tsp of Boyajian Orange Oil. I adore orange and cranberries together, so I thought it would be a nice addition.
  • The batter smoothed over the cranberries without a hitch and into the oven it went (without the baking stone).
  • I took it out and flipped it over onto a cardboard cake round because I couldn’t decide on the serving plate. The cake looked dark and all the cranberries burst. It certainly didn’t look like Rose’s picture with the bright red, and nicely rounded fruit. Mine just looked like smashed berry jam.
The finished cake.
The finished cake.

RASPBERRY GLAZE:

Pushing the frozen then thawed raspberry pulp through the sieve, leaving behind the seeds.
Pushing the frozen then thawed raspberry pulp through the sieve, leaving behind the seeds.
Concentrating the raspberry juices.
Concentrating the raspberry juices.
  • When the cake was unmolded, I poured a small amount of raspberry puree over the cake and spread it evenly with an offset spatula. Like a charm the cake reddened up, but it still didn’t have much appeal.

RASPBERRY ITALIAN MERINGUE

  • Making the Italian meringue…
One lonely egg white.
One lonely egg white.
Adding the sugar syrup to the meringue.
Adding the sugar syrup to the meringue.
The Italian Meringue without the raspberry.
The Italian Meringue without the raspberry.
Adding the raspberry puree.
Adding the raspberry puree.
Incorporating the raspberry.
Incorporating the raspberry.
Introducing Raspberry Italian Meringue.
Introducing Raspberry Italian Meringue.
  • For the beauty shot, my only vision was a square piece of cake with a big, luscious dollop of pink meringue. So this is the picture I took.
Cran-Raspberry Upside Down Cake, The Finer Cookie.
Cran-Raspberry Upside Down Cake, The Finer Cookie.

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