Monday, November 20, 2006

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Many many moons ago, my school put out a cookbook called Park Tudor Treasures. It was all very exciting, though it pained me to see recipes with cringe-inducing names (B.J.’s Kid Pleazin’ Cookies!) supplied by the subject of my Seventeen fantasy-boyfriend’s mother. My mother took a dim view of deliberate misspellings and dropped g's. (Superlatives ending in a babyish ee-sound ("crispy", "crunchy","velvety") also brought out the culinary mean girl in her.) She was part of the panel who tested recipes for this volume and several of the items she deemed fit for publication entered heavy rotation chez nous, most notably a buttery, sorry, dense brick of bread made with self-rising flour and a can of Bud, and this attractive cake, which tastes kind of cobbler-esque and will gunk your oven up but good if you don’t lay down a protective flooring of cookie sheet. Given Ocean Spray’s strangle hold on the produce aisle this week, it could be a cheap, fast, compliment-garnering addition to your holiday table.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Melt a stick and a half of butter, and use the wrappers to grease a 9” spring form pan. This is the only action my spring form sees, though sometimes I enlist the bottom as an impromptu pot lid … my own bottom is much too heat sensitive.) Now sprinkle a little flour over Panny's lubricated bottom. Pretend you’re a beautiful Thanksgiving fairy pollinating a spring form pan with your dust. Whatever gets you through holidaze, babe.

Wash two cups of cranberries, pat them dry, and pour them into the pan. This part makes me think of Madonna, who also started out on bottom, but wound up on top. I feel for the woman, what with everybody taking pot shots at her expedited adoption of a not-entirely-orphaned African baby, but that doesn't mean I want her in my cd collection. The cranberries will have to content themselves with The Ramones.

Sprinkle a half cup of sugar over those you-know-who-berries. Gabba Gabba Hey!

Measure out a 1/4 cup of pecans, and break them up with your fingers as you sprinkle them over too. (the pecans, not your fingers)

Bust 2 eggs over a medium sized bowl and beat’em up! It’s not like they didn’t have it coming. At this time of year, those little twerps should be giving thanks they’re not turkeys.
Add 1 cup of sugar
1 cup of flour
and the melted butter.

Scrape the batter out over the cranberries. Use a rubber spatula to distribute it equitably.

Bake in a 350º oven for 50 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Quick! Is that the top crust, or the bottom!? That’s right, bottom.

Quick! Is the bottom of your oven covered in molten black goo that will start smoking like Bette Davis in Now Voyager next time you try to broil a piece of fish? No? Good, you must have read between the lines and laid down a cookie sheet to catch the napalm-like cranberry juice oozing out the seams of the springform. Those things need them some damn O-rings!

When the timer goes off, set the springform on the counter, or more picturesquely, window sill. Give that cake 10 minutes to recover from the punishment of the oven then undo the latch, remove the springform collar and put a plate upside down over the crust. Slip your hand under what little pan remains and flip it so that it’s facing the ceiling while the plate is holding up the works. Insert a knife between the cranberries and the circular metal floor-cum-lid and gently prize the cake free. Ooh, so purty! Purtier still when you top it with powdered sugar, I mean, Thanksgiving fairy dust, and also some fairy sour cream.

No matter what your opinion of the upcoming holiday, you have my permission to print out and affix to your door a copy of young Milo’s festive original decoration which he calls DEFEND OF THE TURKEYS!



Blogger Meg said...

Greatest. Thanksgiving. drawing. EVER.

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

My family just loved this! You made me look like a food network celebrity chef (okay, they ARE easily impressed). We will be serving this again. Thanks.

1:55 PM  

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