Summer fruit, summer dessert. Berries, nectarines, plums, grapes. Shortcake, pie, upside down cake, jam and jelly.
Fruit cannot be compromised by ingredients in any way, but flavors must be enhanced.
The focal point is fruit. Spices, juices, textures, subtle flavors all add to the experience. Ultimately, simplicity seems to be the best.
The problem is, most desserts are laden with fats, such as butter, and too much sugar. Where to compromise? What to make?
Upside down cake! Simple and easy, and with the right ingredients, neither too sweet, nor loaded with the “wrong” fats. Solution, then? An olive oil cake.
Summer Fruit Upside Down Cake
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour 9 inch circular cake pan. Fresh seasonal fruit – your choice! I used red plums, some ripe, some toward the green side – great sweet and sour combination. You could also do berries, strawberry-rhubarb combo, peaches, nectarines. In winter, go for apples and pears. Maybe add some chopped nuts or raisins in winter.
2-3 c. fresh fruit
2 T. white sugar
1 tsp. orange extract (I used Penzey’s)
Mix all of the above together, set aside. Stir occasionally, while creating the cake batter, if you think about it.
1.5 c. white or whole wheat flour
1/3 c. corn meal (yellow or white)
2 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
Mix together in a bowl. Set aside.
2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. orange extract
3 large eggs
3/4 c. light brown sugar
Whisk all liquid, eggs, and sugar together till thoroughly blended.
Add 1/3 flour to oil-egg mixture, mixing thoroughly, but do not over mix. Continue adding 1/3 flour to mixture until all flour mixed in.
Spread fruit over bottom of pan. Spread cake batter over fruit. Bake in oven 20 minutes, check, turn pan if necessary. Bake another 20 – 30 minutes until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.
Remove baked cake from oven. Run knife around edge of cake in pan. Jiggle pan to loosen fruit at bottom. Place large plate over top of pan and invert. Knock on bottom of cake pan to loosen cake – I used a wooden spoon. Remove the pan and scoop anything sticking to the pan back onto the cake – don’t be shy, make sure to taste it, too!
Cool. Serve with whipped cream, creme fraiche, or yogurt.