It's September. We're past Labor Day. Kids here have been back in school for three weeks already. These should be signs that fall is pretty much here. Except that, according to the thermometer, it's still summer. *sigh* The one thing I really miss about the northeast (where I grew up) is fall. The crisp air in the mornings. The apples. The changing leaves on the trees. Here, in September we're lucky if the temperature only makes it into the high 80s instead of the 90s. Genuinely cool weather is at least another month away. We had a little bit of slightly cooler weather last week, but that was courtesy of tropical storm Hermine, which brought plenty of other problems (like flooding and schools being closed for a day). My dad is here to visit this week and he's sure to enjoy the weather since he likes it warm and it's about 20 degrees warmer here than in Pennsylvania. Me, I'm wishing he could have found a way to bring the 50s and 60s with him. =)
This week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe definitely makes me think of fall. Sabrina of Superfluous picked the Cranberry Upside-Downer for us to make this week. Unfortunately, it's a bit early for fresh cranberries for a lot of people, but from the comments on the P and Q, most were able to come up with good solutions for that. In the book, Dorie gives a peach variation, and also suggests frozen cranberries. I actually planned ahead for a change last winter, and stashed a whole bunch of cranberries in the freezer at the end of last year's season. So I originally planned to just make the cranberry version. Then I realized that I had a whole bunch of plums that needed to be used up. Also, I wasn't that thrilled with their taste, but figured that cooking them (especially with the skins on) would remedy that. So I decided to use both cranberries and plums for my cake. I didn't add any nuts, since I knew that B&G wouldn't like them. The other change that I made was to play around with the spices. I kept the cinnamon, but reduced the amount to half a teaspoon. For the other half teaspoon, I went with cardamom, since I really like it with plums.
The verdict? Well, my original thought was that with this much cake, I could always take some to the daycare. Then I sampled a piece, and decided that I didn't want to share! I haven't made an upside-down cake in a long time, and had forgotten just how tasty they can be. I love the combination of fruit and moist cake. And I was very happy with my choice of fruit. The flavors of the plums and cranberries played well together, and I liked the contrasting textures of the two. Adding a little homemade vanilla ice cream didn't hurt either. Everyone else here liked the cake, too, although Brianna did say she liked the cake and fruit separately, but not together. (So I did share a little.)
If you'd like to try this cake for yourself, head over to Sabrina's blog for the recipe. To see what variations the other TWD bakers came up with, check out this week's Links. And while you're at the Tuesdays with Dorie page, don't forget to check out the info for French Fridays with Dorie, the new group forming to bake through Dorie's new book!