Saturday, February 6

citrus upside-down cake

if memory serves, my mom's favorite cake is of the upsidedown pineapple variety. and today, if memory continues to serve, is her birthday — so without further ado, let's get the party started!

about a million years ago, or what seems that way, she introduced me to the star-fruit, purchased at a fruit stand in hong kong. we dove into into it immediately with a pocket knife (remember when it was still okay to travel with a swiss-army on your key ring?). it was surprisingly tart and juicy, and a truly unforgettable travel moment.

this is a seasonally appropriate version of a cake that I probably would still prefer with sweeter, caramelized pineapple or mango (or even — dare I say — stone fruit??). which begs the question, when exactly is starfruit in-season in this hemisphere? lately, many exotic tropical fruit varieties have been cultivated in florida — not exactly local on the same scale as the valley, but it's a heckuva lot closer to texas than sri lanka! the meyer lemon, while delicious, becomes more bitter the longer this cake stands, a consideration if make-ahead is a standard m.o..

citrus upside down cake
from america's test kitchen's patently elitest baking illustrated

4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 star fruit (carambola), cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 meyer lemon, sliced paper-thin crosswise, seeds discarded

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tbsps cornmeal
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsps unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (plus 2 tbsps — reserved) granulated or turbinado sugar
1 1/2tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup milk

for topping:
preheat oven to 350° and set rack to lower-middle spot. grease a 9-inch nonstick cake pan. in saucepan, over moderate heat, add 4 tablespoons of the butter and, when melted, stir in brown sugar until pale and foamy, about 4 minutes. remove from heat, and arrange fruit slices in the melted brown sugar.

for cake:
in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. in a large bowl, with an electric
mixer, cream the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter with sugar until light and fluffy. beat in vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time. at low speed, beat in dry ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
in a stainless steel bowl, beat egg whites with 2 tablespoons sugar, at high speed until firm peaks form. fold one-third of beaten whites into the batter, then fold in the rest.

scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. let cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then invert onto a plate. serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

1 comment:

the sin fairy said...

So beautiful! What a great idea!!!