Friday, June 10, 2016

Rick Rodgers: Kumquat Upside Down Cake

Well, I think we've reached the end of kumquat season.  The little basket at the grocery store is starting to look bare more often than not.  And I haven't even made anything yet!  Sometimes I think the seasons pass before I can take advantage of the delicious produce.  Not this time though.  I grabbed a back of those little orange globes and went home to make something scrumptious.  I think the tartness of the kumquats works perfectly with the rich sweetness of the brown sugar in this upside down cake.  And I think it's even better served warm with a dollop of fresh whipped cream on top.

Kumquat Upside Down Cake
From Winter Gatherings by Rick Rodgers

1 pint kumquats
1 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at very soft room temperature
½ cup whole milk
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.

To make the kumquat topping, cut each kumquat crosswise into thirds, removing the seeds.  Stir the brown sugar and butter in a 9- to 10-inch diameter cast-iron skillet over medium heat until the sugar is melted and bubbling.  Add the kumquats and spread them out in the sugar mixture in a single layer.

To make the cake, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add the butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix with an electric mixer set on low speed to moisten.  Increase the speed to high and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, for 2 minutes (set a timer to be sure), until smooth and fluffy.  Scrape into the skillet and smooth the top.

Bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back when pressed lightly in the center with your finger, about 35 minutes.  Let stand in the pan on a wire cake rack for 5 minutes.

Run a knife around the inside of the skillet to release the cake.  Place a round rimmed serving platter over the pan.  Holding the platter and skillet together, quickly invert to unmold the cake.  Let stand until warm or cool completely.  Cut into wedges and serve.

Makes 10 servings

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