Someone gave me some pears from their overburdened fruit trees and I decided to try out a skillet cake similar to an Old-Fashioned Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
I love the richness of the fruit caramelized with brown sugar and butter and the moist texture of the yellow cake, but I often want fruit other than pineapple. I used my pears and added some sweet dried plums (prunes, yes)
I decided to take a short cut and use a packaged cake mix (which I rarely do) since I was in a bit of a hurry since I was making some homemade soup at the same time. I added ricotta cheese to the box mix to enrich the flavor and texture - a good move - but didn't adjust for baking time - a big mistake. I also added a little lemon extract to brighten the flavor.
The cake came out underdone, but undaunted I managed to get it back in the skillet and into the oven without too much of a disaster. The cake, as you can see, is not going to win any prizes for looks, but it tastes pretty fantastic.
That means I'm going to have to bake it again because this cake will be a keeper once the recipe is perfected. The reasons I like the idea of this cake is its ease of preparation as well as its rustic simplicity. Plus, you could glam it up a bit with garnishes of a raspberry coulis or creme anglaise.