Rhubarb-Orange Upside-Down Cake

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Melted butter, brown sugar and rhubarb in 10″ cast iron skillet

In honor of Formula 1 Monaco today, I baked the third different rhubarb cake of the season, gratitude redounding to my niece for a link to someone else’s recipe for a cranberry upside-down cake*. After all, it’s often someone else’s recipe that gets adapted to palate preference or due to an ingredient gone missing from the pantry.

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Warm slice with lots of goody on it

Earlier in the month, I referred to today’s cake when making the Spring Rhubarb Cake** with its matching ice cream, so it seems fitting that the upside-down version is the one to make with the last of my garden rhubarb. (Fortunately, others in the hood have a sufficient supply for upcoming goodies.)

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Shot outside to show those red gems of caramelized rhubarb

The original recipe calls for cranberries, but the author mentioned use of other fruits including rhubarb and the usual, pineapple. I used 2 cups of chopped fruit rather than 10 ounces because 10 oz. wasn’t enough for every bite to have rhubarb. It called for spelt in equal proportion to unbleached all-purpose flour. I used Bluebird Grain Farms organic pasayten hard white (whole grain) flour instead. The recipe calls for 1/2 c. buttermilk and 1/4 c. milk. I used 1/4 c. fresh orange juice and 1/2 c. milk. It sours the milk and provides flavor.

It’s not easy to flip a 10″ hot cast-iron skillet filled with cake and fruit onto a pretty plate. It’s heavy. It’s awkward. It’s the price paid to see the upside-down caramelized fruit, scoop out the bits which stick to the skillet and spread them into crevices.

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Shot today in another secret garden

It’s delicious. As far as upside-down cakes go, I like this one better than pineapple for two reasons. First reason:  fresh fruit rather than canned. Second reason: more goody than one gets with a can of drained pineapple. Look at the density of the caramelized rhubarb atop the cake. It meets my “every bite” standard. I don’t recommend ice cream or whip with this cake. It stands well on its own.

*http://benandbirdy.blogspot.com/2005/11/cranberry-upside-down-cake_6608.html

**https://mschefinseattle.com/2017/05/08/spring-rhubarb-cake-with-rhubarb-ice-cream/

Hint: Next time I will decline the cast iron, double the recipe and put it in a glass baking dish with handle rims and have a tea party.

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