November 28, 2010

Pumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Since I'm too busy studying(more like playing) with my new Rosetta Stone French I'll leave you with a few pictures from the dessert I made for the big day...and a few I took in the back yard while I was impatiently waiting for it to cool. 
(Notice how the sugar and butter bring peace...)

Pumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Upside Down Cake
(Adapted from Emily Luchetti)
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 cups cranberries
4 ounces (1 cup) coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Line the bottom of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a small saucepot over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and whisk until smooth.
Pour the brown sugar mixture into the bottom of the cake pan.
In a medium bowl combine the cranberries and pecans. Sprinkle them in the pan over the brown sugar mixture.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, and oil.
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. 
Carefully spread the batter over the cranberry pecan topping. 
Place the pan on a baking sheet just in case the sugar boils over. Burnt sugar isn't the most pleasant smell.
Bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. 
Cool the cake for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
Place a large plate or platter on top of the cake. Invert the cake and plate together. Remove the pan. Carefully peel off the parchment paper. 
Make sure to eat this the same day or just the day after as the sticky caramel stuff tends to soak into the cake. 
Serves 8 to 10 people. 
Note: If you have raw pecans, just throw them on a baking sheet while the oven is preheating. Take them out when you start to smell them or until they're light golden brown, around 7-10 minutes.
 This cake is absolutely delicious. The pumpkin cake itself isn't very sweet so the sticky caramel gives it the perfect balance. A great nutty crunch(don't skip the toasting!) and the tartness of the cranberries puts it over the top. Stay tuned for updates on this recipe translated to a Christmas version. 

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