Recipe: Kurt Timmermeister's Tomato Upside-Down Cake

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Inspired by Paul Bertolli/Cooking by Hand 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar

A variety of flavorful ripe tomatoes—cherry tomatoes, heirlooms

1 1⁄2 cup flour

1 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter

3⁄4 cup white sugar

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 1⁄2 cups tomato jam 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and line a nine-inch circular cake pan with parchment paper.

Melt four tablespoons butter and the brown sugar in a small saucepan and pour into the cake pan.

Slice the tomatoes into half-inch slices, arrange on the bottom of the pan in the brown sugar/butter mixture. Fill the pan as tightly as possible with large and small tomatoes. Use cherry tomatoes to fill in small spaces.

Sift the flour and baking powder to fully mix, set aside.

Whip three-quarters cup butter with the white sugar in an elec- tric mixer on high until light and fluffy—five to ten minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium, and add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after adding each one. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter/egg mixture, scraping down the sides as needed. Mix until barely incorporated. Finish mixing the batter gently by hand.

The batter will be thick. Spoon it into the pan, gently and evenly covering the tomatoes without disturbing their placement. 

Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean—fifty to sixty minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool partially—five minutes. Invert onto an ample cake plate while still warm.

Spoon a thick layer of tomato jam over the warm cake and serve with additional jam.

Yield: 1 nine-inch-round cake 

Reprinted from Growing a Feast: The Chronicle of a Farm-to-Table Meal by Kurt Timmermeister. Copyright (C) 2014 by Kurt Timmermeister. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.