One of my new year’s resolutions was to bake something new every month. Last month, it was eggnog cake, and this month…any guesses?
Yep, with citrus season in full swing right now and blood oranges teasing me weekly at the market, I landed on this Gluten Free Blood Orange Upside Down Polenta Cake. Adapted from an easy looking NY Times recipe, I swapped the regular AP flour for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free flour, and I subbed straight polenta for finely milled cornmeal. The results? The most down-home, beautiful, jewel-toned, sweet winter treat that I’m keeping on file for every winter to come.
I served this winter cake with a simple, boozey mascarpone whipped cream, but I think straight whipped cream or even vanilla ice cream would be nice, as well. Or enjoy this GF upside down cake with coffee. Just don’t refrigerate it. (I found the crumb turned too dense like cornbread after a night of cold chilling.)
Enjoy and be sure to tag me on Instagram if you try the recipe. I’d love to see yours, too!
GLUTEN FREE BLOOD ORANGE UPSIDE DOWN POLENTA CAKE
2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , at room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
4 medium-sized blood oranges
1 cup polenta
1/2 cup Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
⅓ cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan and dust with GF flour. Then line bottom of pan with a round of parchment paper.
Next, prep a citrus caramel by combining In a small saucepan over medium heat 3 tablespoons butter, brown sugar and lemon juice; stir until sugar melts, about 3 minutes and then scrape mixture into bottom of prepared pan, swirling the pan so the caramel covers the base evenly.
Grate 1/2 teaspoon zest from one of the oranges, then slice off the tops and bottoms of both oranges. Place oranges on a clean, flat surface, and slice away the rind and pith, top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit. Slice each orange crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick wheels; discard any seeds. Arrange orange wheels on top of brown sugar caramel mixture in a single, tight layer.
In a large bowl, whisk together orange zest, cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together remaining 2 sticks butter with granulated sugar. Beat in eggs, one a time, then beat in sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the dry mixture by hand.
Scrape batter into pan over oranges. Transfer to the oven and bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then run a knife along pan’s edges to loosen it; invert onto a platter and cool completely before serving.