On made-up recipes: apple/pumpkin upside-down cake

My goal with this massive winter squash harvest is to come up with multiple, tasty ways of making that squash disappear.  Here’s the latest:  apple/pumpkin upside-down cake.

Use what you have:  Galeux d’Eysines squash puree with our Jonagold apples

With time, I have become more comfortable with seat-of-my-pants cooking, including baking.  I hate to say it but Ruhlman is right:  so much of cooking and especially baking IS proportions:  this much plus that much equals expected output.  And when eating down the stores of something tasty and plentiful, like Thanksgiving’s squash, my other expected output is “well, how bad can it be:  apples, pumpkins, flour, eggs, sugar?”

In a warm oven, put 2 T butter to melt in a 9×13 or similar sized cake pan while you prepare the upside-down topping.  Peel and cube two large apples, retrieve the warming pan and toss the apples in the butter with 2 T sugar and 1/2 t cinnamon; wrap up sides to grease them, then distribute the apples evenly on the bottom and set aside.

Cream 1/4 cup of butter with 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your squash puree is); crack 2 large or 3 small eggs into the mix and continue to blend until smooth.  Stir in about 2 cups of pureed pumpkin or other winter squash and a cup of yogurt or buttermilk. Set aside.

Sift together 2 cups flour with 1-1/2 teaspoons each of baking powder and baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, along with another 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice.  Add this dry mix to the wet and stir together.  Add milk to thin if it seems very stiff.

Bake in a 350* oven until a toothpick stuck in its center comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes.  Let cool slightly, run a knife around the sides of the cake, place a cookie sheet or large platter atop the pan and invert them, tapping the bottom of the pan to free it.  Adjust the apple chunks along the top and try not to eat in one sitting.

17 responses to “On made-up recipes: apple/pumpkin upside-down cake

  1. Looks yummy! Have you seen the book called Ratio’s? It gives set ratios and proportions for fat, liquids, and dry ingred’s to use in any combo for freewheeling baking. I copied the basic ratio formulas and taped the sheet to the inside of my cupboard for easy access. Improvisation is key to local eating! Now if only I had some ideas for all the gads and gads of turnips we have been pulling up! Any new ideas?

    • Shawna! I was just thinking of you, how WEIRD! Yep, Ratios is the book by Ruhlman I was thinking of; glad to hear you were smart and copied down some of the formulas, and now have easy access. Kind of like studying for a test or something. But to answer your question: sauerruben!! Sauerkraut made with turnips! Grate, salt, smash, ferment, eat! Would be great with some of your piggies 🙂

  2. Looks like a great recipe! I”m trying to learn how to cook by the seat of my pants too 🙂 I’ll have to check out that Ratios book.

  3. El, if you’re looking for more ideas for squash, this pumpkin recipe would probably work just as well with winter squash:


    This is *excellent* – better than it reads on paper, and you can cut the sugar listed in the recipe quite a bit. Just use enough to generously coat the slices of squash once you have them in the baking dish. I had this first at a restaurant and searched for the recipe fruitlessly for several years before finding it. The two different sauces really complement each other.

    Enjoy your squash bounty!

  4. Sounds great. I think I’ll roast one today. Good for the cold weather. Or maybe make soup. Yum.

  5. We make “pumpkin” pies out of Kabocha squash. It’s a Japanese type of squash (I think I read that somewhere) that is like a small pumpkin and a little flatter and more orange than a regular pumpkin. The flesh is smoother, not nearly as stringy as that of a pumpkin. It’s fairly sweet and we really like it. Now I’m going to have to try your upside-down recipe.

    Thanks for the reference to Ruhlman.

    Try growing some Kabochas next year, we get ours from Johnny’s Select Seeds.

  6. Brilliant! I’ll have to try that.

    We have two squashloves around here: Squashycrumble – “pumpkin” pie filling topped with standard cobbler/crumble topping – and Pumpkin Pasties – like an apple turnover, but with slices of squash instead of apple.

  7. Made something similar – it was a pumpkin cake with apple streusel topping. It was fairly easy to make and came out so yummy! I used a musque de provence for the pumpkin and will make it again soon. I think I’ll give your upside-down cake a try too. Goodness knows there is enough squash in this house!

  8. Yes!
    Pumpkin AND upside-down (you know my fondness for upside down cake).

    Now I want to try this with cubed pumpkin as part of the fruit “topping”… mmm…. with some homemade vanilla ice-cream, no?

    Your Jonagold? I thought you had no fruit tree….

  9. I forgot all about the snowfall link from last year!as for turnips they are a big fave and somewhere I have a recipe for a Turnip gratin with a cheese but the cheese escapes me.

  10. How could I forget the Turnip Souffle from the old Belgian Lion in San Diego.It was incredible.I googled it and links do show up for the defunct restaurant and their kids who cook elsewhere but no recipe for Arlene Coulon’s incredible souffle.I got it from her and her husband years ago but I can’t find it.That said there would be recipes online and will make you think about turnips in a whole new light.

  11. Shawna! Looks like John has a great suggestion. Frankly anything covered with cheese in a gratin is somewhat magical, no?

    Hi Wendy! I like your project. I love the fact that you live closeby. We should compare notes: there are lots of great growers up there…

    Kate, how wonderful. Gosh, I’ve eaten breakfast but somehow this makes me starving. I am glad to learn your pumpkins are ripening in their windowsill…mine are ripening in the cold dark basement, go figure. Maybe I’ll move a couple upstairs into the light to see if it speeds up the process.

    Stef, soup + cold weather = happiness, no?

    Dennis, yeah, I do grow kabochas: I like them. I like their size (they ain’t huge, unlike many of my others) and their flesh is quite as you described, non-stringy, not needing much pulping. Weekend Farmer mentioned a curry dish with coconut milk and basil…doesn’t that sound divine?

    Emily, a girl after my own heart: pasties! Now’s the time I actually get a craving. Hmm. Maybe this weekend, loads of cubed potatoes and carrots and some surprise meat from the freezer… But you got me with that crumble too. Wow! Oatmeal didn’t cut it for me this morning!

    Andrea, I was threatened by my husband to not make too many sweet pumpkin dishes: moving into the indoor/sedentary season, you know…and hey what about just one more piece of pie… That pumpkin is on my list to grow next year! Thanks for reminding me!

    Sylvie! You’re the one who inspired me, telling me about your pumpkin cake… Yeah we have trees. We’ve got about 5 on the property, 9 at the neighbor’s, and I planted another dozen, of which these Jonagolds are the measly harvest of maybe 10 apples. But ice cream. With our first snow here (!!) it’s somehow not so appealing.

    John! Thanks for looking. That does sound really tasty: I wonder what kind of cheese, like a Gruyere? Or something more milky, like a ricotta? Either way…yum…warm toasty root veggies….

  12. Now that you nmention it I’m pretty sure it is Gruyere.

  13. I had a wonderful Butternut squash upside down cake last night..it has a fresh cranberry and walnut ‘topping’ so I searchiing for a recipe…any ideas?

  14. It looks delicious. You think i can replace the sugar with a substitude? My husband and myself can’t have sugar.

  15. Yum Yum Yummy!!!

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