Upside Down Apple Cake

1/4 C. butter (1/2 stick)

3/4 C. sugar

1/4 C. sorghum or molasses

3-4 tart apples or pears, cored and cut into wedges

 

Cake:

1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, room temperature

2/3 C. sugar

1 t. vanilla extract

2 eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 C. flour

1/2 C. cornmeal

1 1/2 t. baking powder

1 t. salt

1/2 t. cinnamon

1 C. buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Melt butter in 12″ cast-iron skillet over low heat. Add sugar and sorghum (if using — see note below). Overlap apple wedges in pan. Cook over medium-low heat about 15 minutes.

Combine dry ingredients and whisk.

Beat butter and sugar for cake with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and eggs. Add buttermilk and flour mixture alternately to butter mixture and mix well.

Remove skillet from heat. Spoon batter over apples and spread to cover completely. Place in oven and bake 20-25 minutes, until cake is brown and bubbly.
Let cake cool in skillet for 10 minutes and then invert onto serving plate. The beauty of this cake is that if chunks of apple fall off, you can smear them back onto the top and it looks just fine. This may explain my love of upside down cakes. They’re hard to screw up! This cake serves ten, but you’ll seldom have leftovers for long.
Note: Adding molasses makes this a much heartier-tasting cake, but I’ve found it also makes it soupier. Up to you as to whether you add it. Good both ways, but I find the molasses overpowering.

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