I cannot tell a lie: I found the recipe for this delicious cake on the internet at Love and Duckfat which is a beautifully presented and interesting website about food (I recommend a visit there; you’ll drool over the photos and will undoubtedly find something delicious to make). That recipe called for only kumquats – I took liberties and added almost the entirety of this year’s sour cherry crop. I also simplified a step or two along the way. Here’s the recipe.
For the fruit layer:
3 TBL butter
3/4 C packed light brown sugar
1 Pint Kumquats, sliced in half, seeds removed
You can substitute some other fruits or combinations if you wish, as I did with the cherries. Just make sure your fruit is clean and ready to eat (i.e., no cherry pits!).
For the cake layer:
8 TBL butter
3/4 C granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C white flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C whole milk at room temp
Preheat oven to 350
Melt the 3 TBL butter in the microwave (or in a pan on stove if you prefer) and stir in the brown sugar. Spread the mixture over the bottom of your baking pan. (Love and Duck Fat does this step in a skillet, cooking the butter and sugar until the sugar melts, which I find unnecessary.) Her cake, therefore is round; I like the glass rectangle pan for this, because it is easier for me to arrange the fruit, so that’s what I use. The exact dimensions are not that important as long as you don’t under- or over-cook your cake.
Arrange your prepared fruit in an attractive pattern on top of the sugar/butter mixture with the attractive side down.
Make the cake batter by beating together the 8 TBL butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla and the eggs and beat. In a separate bowl sift together the white flour, baking powder and salt. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the butter sugar mixture mixing well each time (I usually add a third or a quarter of each at a time). Mix well but don’t beat any more after it is well mixed.
Spoon dollops of cake batter over the top of the fruit and then smooth it out as best you can.
Pop in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. You will know it’s done when the edges turn brown and pull away a bit from the sides of the pan. If you push gently on the top of the cake with your finger it will spring back when it is done. A toothpick inserted in the cake will come out clean when it is cooked through.
Remove it from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes, perhaps 5. Then carefully put your serving plate on top of the baking pan and in one swift movement turn it upside down and the cake will slip out onto your serving plate. If you let it sit for too long the cake will not exit the baking pan easily. Use hot pads or gloves, your baking pan will still be very, very hot – and be careful! (Many recipes call for allowing the cake to sit for 20 minutes before flipping – this has always led to disaster for me.) You may have to rescue or rearrange a few pieces of fruit because, like baggage during an air flight, they may have shifted during takeoff and landing.