Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Circle B Kitchen

Recipe courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle

Topping
2 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar

Cake Batter
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1  2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
Whipped cream or ice cream, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Use a skillet with a 2-quart capacity. If your skillet has a wooden or inflammable handle, wrap it in several layers of aluminum foil.

Put the cranberries in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Remove any soft or shriveled cranberries and discard. Shake the colander to get rid of excess water. Set aside.

Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat and stir in the brown sugar. Continue to cook, stirring until the sugar melts and is bubbling a little. Remove from the burner and add the cranberries, spreading them in a single layer in the sauce. Set the skillet aside while you prepare the batter.

Cream the shortening and sugar and add the vanilla and eggs. Beat the mixture until it is all one color and smooth.  Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and add then the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, along with the milk, beating until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
Spread the batter evenly over the cranberries.

Bake for about 30 minutes, but check the cake for doneness after 25 minutes by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes, then put a large serving plate over the skillet and turn the skillet upside down. Serve warm or at room temperature.