This is, actually, a fine bit o’ cake. It’s just that, like my oatmeal pie, it doesn’t LOOK all that appetizing…
Here’s the back story:
I occasionally check in on the blog of a gay, vegetarian archaeologist living in Arizona, and he occasionally mentions some interesting stuff in the way of food – well, OK, some of it doesn’t tempt me at all – but he wrote one time about this pineapple upside down cake made with (I believe) Trader Joe’s Mango Ginger Chutney. Now, pineapple upside down cake just happens to be one of Rich’s favorite desserts, and I don’t really mind it, but an upside down cake with a bit of a chutney kick intrigued me. I couldn’t readily find a recipe for said cake, and thought there must be something more involved than just adding mango chutney into the pan with the pineapple, so I bought a couple of jars of the chutney and stashed ’em in the pantry, thinking I would play around with the concept sometime.
Well, sometime came yesterday, due to a picture perfect summer’s day just made for trying something new in the kitchen…
I found a recipe (thanks to da Google) for an upside down Pear chutney cake and I figured: “eh, pear, mango; they’re both vaguely ovoid fruits – let’s give it a whirl!”
•18 oz. (2 jars) mango ginger chutney
•1/4 cup (1 stick) butter
•1 cup flour
•3/4 cup sugar
•1-1/2 tsp baking powder
•1/2 tsp salt
•1/4 cup shortening
•1/2 cup milk – I used 1/4 cup skim and 1/4 cup real half & half
Melt the butter in a heavy, 10″ oven-safe skillet over low heat.
Remove from the flame and pour the chutney over the melted butter.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl.
Add the shortening (I used Crisco) and milk and beat at high speed for two minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Add the egg and beat for another two minutes.
Pop the whole thing onto the center rack of your preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the cake is nicely browned and a bit springy to the touch.
Remove skillet from the oven and allow to cool on a rack for five or ten minutes.
My batter never quite spread to the edges of the pan, but if yours did, run a knife around those edges to loosen the cake, then invert the skillet onto your serving platter – you may have to jiggle things a touch.
It kinda looks like a hot August sun, just a bit, doesn’t it?
Whatever – just squint and nod.
So, full disclosure, I screwed up reading the directions and tried creaming the solid shortening with the milk and the egg in the mixing bowl before adding the dry ingredients, and things were not pretty. I coulda chucked the bit of Crisco, the milk, and the egg and started over, but N-o-o-o!
So, my batter may not have formed and/or risen quite as well as it should. Still, this makes for a darned nice, not to say tasty, cake! Serving suggestions include toasted almonds and freshly whipped cream, but I thought it very nice just as it was, ermmm, for breakfast.
And, since we’re having friends over for dinner tomorrow night, I still have time (and skillet space) to make a ‘company-dinner-acceptable’ spiced pear cake – same concept, but wicked fancy looking, and actually a bit easier, when you compare trying to spread batter and not disturbing slices of pear to attempting the same with chutney.
Might just as well try to herd puppies…