the cherry(s) on the cake

cherry tree

The cherry tree which hangs over our back deck seems to be doing a lot better than last year, showing fuller foliage and yielding a great deal more fruit. Problem is....as the cherries ripen it becomes a competitive race against the birds to pick the fruit. I've been on high alert these last few days, often running out the back door, shouting and waving my arms in the air in (not entirely successful) attempts to scare away the crows who have mistaken our backyard for an all-you-can-eat buffet. One thing I have never been able to understand about birds......when they find food, why do they always have to tell all their friends? They make such a big noisy deal about it and, before they know it, gee....there is hardly anything left for them....or for me.

Sure, I could have made my life much easier if I just went and purchased some from the farmers market, but where's the fun in that? By hook or by crook, I was determined to make one thing from our backyard bounty, something in particular....Cherry Upside Down Cake.

Diane Thompson's Cherry Upside Down Cake

Cherry Upside Down Cake

1/4 c butter
1/4 c sugar
2 c fresh, pitted cherries

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp grated orange rind
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 c milk

Preheat oven to 350°. In an 8” x 8” baking pan melt (first) ¼ c butter over stove top, using low heat. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar and then with cherries. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream (second) ¼ c butter in a medium size bowl, then beat in the sugar. Next blend in eggs, vanilla and orange zest. At low speed beat in the sifted dry ingredients, alternating with the milk. Combine until well blended. Spoon batter over top of the cherries and butter/brown sugar mixture, spreading evenly. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched with your finger. Loosen sides and carefully invert onto a serving plate or cake server. Allow to cool. Serve with fresh whipped cream or try with 'Liberte Mediterranee Yogurt'. Any flavour would work well, but I tried it with 'Orange & Mango'. Yum! I think that finishing with a sprinkling of toasted sliced almonds wouldn't be such a bad idea, either.

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