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kumquat and cherry upside down cake-002A friend recently asked if I was ever going to put up another recipe, and I realized that it has been quite some time since I’ve done that. For once this is something that I whipped up, not one of Speedy’s incredible dishes.  This year I have become the Queen of the Upside Down Cake, mostly by default because it is such an easy thing to make and people just love it. Especially here in Italy it is a treat because it is not a normal sort of Italian dessert.

kumquat treeThat shrubby thing in the middle of the photo is our kumquat ‘tree.’ Why it is becoming a bush instead of a tree I’m not sure, but no matter. The important thing is that it has given us zillions of little kumquats this year (you can see them hiding in the leaves). For those of you unfamiliar with this fruit, it is a wee orange in reverse; that is, the skin is sweet and the inside is very, very tart. Kumquats are good to eat right from the tree if you enjoy a tart treat, which we do; it’s not to everyone’s taste.

But kumquat upside-down cake IS to everyone’s taste. Even a friend who usually declines dessert took a very thin sliver just to be polite, and then came back for a full serving (which I found enormously satisfying). I have made three of these so far this year, and each one has disappeared with gratifying speed. In the iteration pictured above I added our sour cherry crop. The great thing about an upside-down cake is you can use pretty much any fruit you have on hand – I have made plain kumquat, kumquat with cherry, the ubiquitous pineapple (from fresh pineapple please, otherwise it is too cloyingly sweet), and nectarine. All have been completely successful.

The next time you’re entertaining and want to have a dessert you can depend on that won’t take you all day to make, try an upside-down cake. You can find the recipe I used for the cake above here. It was shamelessly adapted from one found at Love and Duck Fat, a very beautifully presented web site about food (I recommend you visit them). Have some fun with your fruit and your design, there are no rules.