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Cranberry Upside Down Cake


serves 8-10

2 cups fresh cranberries (2/3 of a 12 ounce bag)
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 cup milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. In a 9 inch cake pan or 9 inch cast iron skillet melt three tablespoons butter and spread on all sides and the bottom using a spatula. Over low heat add the brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice until dissolved at the bottom of the pan or skillet. Try not to get sugar or spices on sides. Set aside pan or skillet.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. • In another bowl cream the butter, granulated sugar, egg yolks and vanilla until light yellow and creamy. Mix in the milk.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. (Option: beat with ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar for extra lightness in the cake.)
5. Pour the dry into the wet ingredients, stirring them together with a spatula until just blended. Then fold in the egg whites.
6. Evenly spread the cranberries in the cake pan or skillet. Pour the batter over the cranberries.
7. Bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Timing is dependent on the moisture content of the cranberries. If you are using frozen cranberries, use the cranberries as you would fresh ones without thawing them (but add approximately 10 minutes to the cooking time.)
8. Take the cake out of the oven, cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and invert the cake onto a serving platter. Scatter a few fresh cranberries around the side.
9. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.