When I was growing up an upside-down cake was made with pineapple from a can– usually with a maraschino cherry adorning the center of each ring. To a kid like me, it was a marvel of a cake– full of magic and mystery. How was it possible to get that glistening yellow and red design embedded into the cake? As an adult I crave something reminiscent of all that magic and mystery, but with a bit more seasonality and sophistication.
This fig upside-down cake is my answer. You may have noticed that it’s been a very good year for figs in my Hollywood Hills neighborhood. So I’m featuring them one more time this summer.
Fig Upside Down Cake
Don’t tell this to the kids in your life. Why burst their young imaginations with cold hard facts? But the magic of a fig upside-down cake is not really so mysterious. Even the French version, which is an upside-down pie they call a tarte tatin, isn’t the marvel of culinary engineering some folks think it is. You see, both start with fruit on the bottom and batter on top; when it’s done, you flip it out of the pan so the fruit sits glued in a sticky, sweet syrup on the top.