Friday, April 13, 2007

U is for...

U is for Upside Down Desserts.
Who:Upside Down Desserts.
What: Most simply, an upside down dessert would have the filling or topping (ie sauce, fruit, nuts) placed at the bottom of the pan/baking dish. The batter or dough is placed on top and then when the cooking is finished the dish is inverted, so the topping is visible. Most upside down desserts are cakes.
Where: The word "Cake" was first used in Europe in the 1200's. However similar goods had been made since the Middle Ages.
When: Cakes that were similar to our modern style began over there around the 1600's. The Pineapple Upside Down cake, the most popular style of Upside Down Desserts, was created in the early 1900's, most likely in the 1920's when canned pineapple was readily available.
Why: 'Cause it tastes good!

Easy Strawberry Upside Down Brownies

Alrighty, get your self a box (GASP!) of brownie mix. I used the low fat sort you only have to add water to. Mix up the batter as per the box and set aside. Preheat your oven as per the box too. Then take your muffin tins - I use silicon - and grease or spray VERY WELL. You don't want these suckers to stick. DO NOT use paper liners, because then you can't see the bottom, what becomes the top. Chop up some berries and put a spoonful or so in the bottom of each muffin cup. Top with the batter and cook as per the directions on the box. When they are done, and don't forget to do the old toothpick test, remove them from the oven and let them sit for 10 minutes on a rack, still in the pan. Then carefully flip the muffin pan over, tapping, wiggling and prying as needed to get those suckers out. Hopefully they will all come out whole and intact. If not, they still taste good.

Upside Down Apple Tart

altered slightly from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry
4 oz butter
1/2 cup sugar
5 large Red Delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into fourths

Heat a 10 or 12" pan over medium high heat. Add the butter and stir, coating the surface of the pan. When the butter is melted, sprinkle over the sugar. Place the apple quarters in the pan tightly. Cut up one or two of the quarters and fill in any small spaces between the apple pieces.

Cook the apples, without stirring, over medium high heat until the sugar caramelizes. Lower the heat to medium if necessary. When the sugar has turned golden, remove the pan from the heat. Preheat the oven to 375'. Roll or press out the puff pastry, if needed so the pastry is a bit larger than the pan. Poke some holes in the pastry with a fork and carefully lay the pastry over the pan, adjusting as needed to cover all the apples. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.

Remove the pan from the oven, and wearing oven mitts and being VERY CAREFUL, invert the pan onto a plate or tray that is at least 2 inches larger than the pan. Center the tart on the plate, wipe away any splatters and let sit for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream for the best dessert.

Previous Alphabet Posts:
A is for Artichoke
B is for Beet
C is for Carrot
D is for Dogs
E is for Egg
F is for Fondue
G is for Garlic
H is for Hamburger
I is for Indian Food
J is for Jamie Oliver
K is for Kaffir Lime Leaves
L is for Lobster
M is for Mushroom
N is for Noodle
O is for Onion
P is for Pub Food
Q is for Quinoa
R is for Rice
S is for Sushi
T is for Taco


Brilynn said...

You know I'm a sucker for any Dorie dessert... looks great!

breadchick said...

I LOVE Upside Down Desserts! I love to make them. I love to eat them. I love to create them (Dump Upside Down Cake) I am going to have to go home and make one this weekend!! Can't believe you only have 5 more letters...

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

When is upside down a good thing...when it's a cake!! That apple upside down does look so very good! Where will you go with xyz?

Emmy said...

What a mouth-watering post! Hope you have a good weekend :)

Kristen said...

Love that apple dessert. We had a pineapple upside down cheesecake last night. Mmmmmmm!

Sara said...

brilynn - thanks!

mary - tell me more about upside down dump cake...

tanna - argh! xyz...not really sure yet, but gotta decide SOON.

emmy - thank you! you too.

kristen - pineapple upside down cheesecake! oh if only i had thought to make that!

Lis said...

I love what you picked for U!! That would be a good theme for an event - upside down foods! hehe

I made Dorie's Tarte Tatin too, but mind didn't get that wonderful caramel color that yours did.. fantastic!


Elle said...

Just discovered your alphabet postings. I love this one. Upside down desserts are such fun and Tarte Tatin is such a classic.

Peabody said...

Very cleaver for U. By the way, if you can't think of something for X you can always make something using Xanthan gum.

Sara said...

lis - yeah, that would be a good one. it took a while to get the color, but it really bordered on being TOO dark. i think i got lucky.

elle - thank you!

peabody - what the hell is xanthan gum? did you see them last night! FINALLY they remembered how to play! yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Peabody said...

You bet I saw them last was nice not to scream at the TV all night.
Xanthan gum is a food modifier that makes thing more thick...Bob's Red Mill sells it.

Sara said...

Peabody - I actually saw Xanthan at the health food store last night! What do you think, will the Flames do it again tonight?