By Laura

Wild Foraged Concord Grape Sauce

Make this for the Meatballs! … Wild Foraged Concord Grape Sauce
Traditionally grape jelly has been used in a handful of unconventional regional recipes, “Grape Jelly Spaghetti Sauce” & “Grape Jelly Meat Balls” to name a few. My recipe goes a bit further using Josephine’s Feast Spiced Wild Foraged Grape Jam, our “Forte” Dijon Mustard and our naturally sweet, Single Row Small Batch Sungold Tomato Catsup

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The Red Hot Pepper Jam Buffalo Chicken Wings

Red Hot Pepper Jam Buffalo Chicken Wings

I was in the kitchen last week with my assistant Sara who is ga-ga over Football and hosts an annual Super Bowl Party every season.  Our conversation quickly turned to what she would be serving for her event.  And once the conversation turned to Chicken Wings – everyone in the kitchen had an opinion.  We all have our favorite bar, restaurant or recipe for chicken wings – but I prefer to stay close to the source and have updated traditional Buffalo Chicken Wings.

Generally speaking, Buffalo Wings are deep-fried, unbreaded, and coated in vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter. They are served hot, along with celery sticks and/or carrot sticks and blue cheese dressing for dipping. So I think they hit 4 food groups – and yes I am pulling your leg.

There are a number of claims as to the origins of Buffalo Wings. One of the more prevalent is that Buffalo Wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, by Teressa & Frank Bellissimo. Several versions of the story have been circulated by the family. the one I like best was told by their son Dominic to Calvin Trillin for an article in The New Yorker.  ”It was Friday night in the bar and since people were buying a lot of drinks he (Frank) wanted to do something nice for them at midnight when the mostly Catholic patrons would be able to eat meat again.” He stated that it was his mother, Teressa, who came up with the idea of chicken wings. Maybe so.

My go to recipe is adopted from my food hero Alton Brown, who just seems to do everything right.  His method of steaming and roasting the wings adds much to the texture of the meat and dare I say cuts a bit of the fat.  I use Josephine’s Feast Red Hot Pepper Jam  in place of hot sauce and have tweaked the spices to add more depth of flavor.

His original recipe is at

The Ultimate Buffalo Chicken Wing for the Super Bowl


2 dozen Whole chicken wings
4 ounces Unsalted butter – clarified
1 small Clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup Josephines Feast Red Hot Pepper Jam
2 T  Sweet Paprika or Josephine’s Feast South Fork BBQ Rub
1/2 t Sea salt

Chicken Wings - Double Boiler

1 – Place a large saucepan with a steamer basket an inch or 2 of water of water.  Over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.

2 – Using kitchen shears, or a knife, separate the wings at the joint. Remove the tips of the wings and save for making stock. Place the wings into the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam for 10 minutes.

Chicken Wings - Steamed

3 – Remove the wings from the basket and pat dry with a paper towel. Lay the wings out on a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour or over night.

4 – Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Roasted Chicken Wings

5 – Remove the paper towels and replace with parchment paper or foil. Roast on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook another 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.

Chicken Wing Sauce

6 – While the wings are roasting, clarify the butter in a small pot. Add the garlic, jam, salt and spice mix.  Cook for 2 minutes.

7 – It is easiest to pull the wings from the oven & combine them in sauce pot – toss to coat.  Serve warm.

Alternatively the wings can be refrigerated for two days and retuned to a 400 degree oven to reheat.

Traditionally served with celery and carrot sticks along with this delicious blue cheese dipping sauce.

Ingredients for  the Blue Cheese Dip:

1/2 cup Sour cream – regular or low fat
1/2 cup Crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
1 Small clove garlic – minced
1 T Buttermilk or milk or cream
1/2 lemon juiced – the zest can be added for extra flavor
to taste Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 – Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl and blend with a wand mixer or fork.

2 – Taste and add salt and pepper.

If you are looking for an equal delicious but lower fat version of a Blue Cheese Dressing.  Please view my earlier post.  This recipe would have to be reduced by half or even by three quarters depending on how many wings you are making.

My Mother’s Cabbage “Kapusta” Soup

Polish Christmas Eve table

As far back as I can remember, my family has celebrated Christmas Eve with the traditional Polish custom of a fasting meal of 12 fish before the celebration of Christmas Day.

My grandmother would set out a white table cloth and make a simple meal of fish cakes, fried flounder, cod, boiled shrimp, broiled scallops and herring. There was always a bowl of rich and delicious eggnog that we would consume in huge amounts, not being at all concerned with calories or cholesterol. I can still smell the fragrance of the nutmeg that my grandfather grated over the tops of our small hands holding tightly to the dainty punch bowl cups.

As we grew into teenagers, my brother and I brought our friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses and even our in-laws to my mother’s Christmas Eve feast.  My mother always made a traditional cabbage soup with Polish dried mushrooms.  They were costly and I remember my Aunt Bertha bringing back a suitcase full of these particular mushrooms from her trips to Poland until the Chernobyl disaster exposed the mushrooms – and all vegetation for that matter- to high levels of radiation.  That was that year my mother switched to Porcini mushrooms and although it wasn’t quite the same  – the meal was pronounced “humble “ by my father and our humble holiday feasting commenced.

No matter what happens throughout the year, my brothers and I try to honor my families tradition.  My mother still makes her cabbage and mushroom soup and brings it to my home for Christmas Eve dinner.  I have made poach salmon, shell fish lasagna and even bouillabaisse in past years stretching the feast of 12 fish to  16 or 18 fish.  But in the end it is a “humble” meal and a  cod fish dinner with a bitter green salad and a bowl of cabbage and mushroom soup is our family tradition.  As I set the table, my brother would sneak up on me and mimic my father’s voice, pronounce our feast a  “Humble Meal”, and then dinner can begin.

Here is a Recipe for my mother’s  Cabbage and Mushroom soup.  It is a wonderful healthy soup and very easy to make.  No fat, gluten free and positively delicious.

My Mother’s Kapusta Soup

Kapusta Soup

2 Small head’s of green cabbage
12 cups vegetable stock or vegetable bouillon
6 to 8 oz Dried Polish Borowik Mushrooms – Dried Porcini or Shiitake can be substituted
1 16 oz Bag or jar of sauerkraut.

Parsley Optional

Sliced Cabbage

1) Rehydrate the dried mushroom by pouring hot water over them and letting them rest for 20 to 30 minutes

2) Shred the cabbage either by hand or in a food processor.

3) Heat the stock or bullion in a large stock pot – bring to a boil.

4) Add the cabbage and simmer

5) Remove the mushrooms from the rehydration water and put them in the stock pot

6) Pour the rehydration water or mushroom “juice” thru a fine strainer to remove the grit and add this to the stock pot

7) add the package of sauerkraut to the stock pot

8) Let all ingredients simmer for 45 minutes until the cabbage is tender.

9) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

10) And if you would like to add a bit of chopped parsley or thyme that would be fine.  Although My mother would not feel the need to!

A Lazy Languid Pumpkin Butter Recipe – Pumpkin Butter Afterglow

Josephine's Feast! Pumpkin Butter on Toast

Photo Courtesy Lucy Eloi at l’homme Voyage

On Thanksgiving I find myself focused and fussing over a humble turkey dinner.  It’s an all day event with a kitchen full of pots, pans, lots of good food and the promise of leftovers the day after.  Ahh the afterglow of the leftovers – a lazy meal for languid cooks.

Being professionally trained nothing goes to waste in my kitchen. And I start eyeing those gorgeous pumpkins and squash that decorate the table &  the mantel.  Slow cooking or rather roasting  them in a low oven will put them to good use in soups, pies, and even some preserves throughout the winter.

A Selection of Pumpkins

If you have a classic cheese pumpkin or blue hubbard squash – your in for a real treat. In fact, my forager Ron insists that his mother used blue hubbard’s exclusively in baking as it gave her ”pumpkin” pies a smoother texture.

I slow roast the pumpkins by dividing my work into two parts  – roasting first – and then running the pulp thru a food mill to create a fine puree. This can easily be frozen to use for soups, filling in pasta, pies or pumpkin butter with the recipe that follows.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension does not advise home canning of pumpkin in a water bath preserving process because the puree does not reach the correct internal temperature for sterilization. Freezing in proper containers with square corners is a much better way to extend your season. You can still fill canning jars and refrigerated the Pumpkin Butter to give as gifts during the holiday season. But this must must remain refrigerated and be consumed within 2 weeks.

This is a basic recipe for a delicious Pumpkin Butter sweetened with brown sugar. I have suggested simple pumpkin pie spices – but feel free to experiment. My sister in law uses nutmeg exclusively, I just made a batch with fresh ginger & curry spices that is excellent in chicken or turkey salad. You may want to play with almond or caramel extracts and other warm winter spices or add a dash of New Mexican chili for a spicy pumpkin butter.

Thanksgiving Feast Pumpkin Butter Sweetened with Brown Sugar. 

One Cheese Pumpkin or Hubbard Squash
2 t butter
Brown Sugar
1/2 c Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 c Lemon Juice
2 t Pumpkin Pie Spices
1 T vanilla
salt & pepper optional
Pectin if needed

1. Turn your oven onto 350 degrees. Depending on the size of your pumpkin – slice it in half or in quarters.

2. Scoop out the seeds – these can be saved, washed, and roasted. We roast ours with Soy Sauce.

3. Place the pumpkins cut side up in a roasting pan. Add a dollop of butter and sprinkle a scant t of brown sugar over the surface. Salt and pepper if you choose.

4. Roast in the 350 oven for approximately 45 minutes. It really depends on the size of the pumpkin. It is done when a fork easily pierces the pumpkin.

5. Let the pumpkin rest and cool to handle.

6. Scoop and weigh out the pumpkin with a kitchen scale.

7. Use a food mill to puree the pumpkin. If you do not have one a food processor may be used.

8. A good size pumpkin will yield about 6 to 8 pounds of pumpkin meat. For each pound of pumpkin meat measure out one cup of brown sugar.

9. In a preserving pan or pot add the pumpkin meat, the brown sugar, 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 2t apple pie spices. Other spices can be used see the note below

10. Cook on a low heat until the Pumpkin butter coats the back of a spoon. This can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours cooking on a low flame to prevent scorching. If you prefer a thicker butter you can add 2 pouches of liquid pectin.

Wild Spring Greens Pesto & Pasta

Italian Pickers

I just returned from a trip to Italy – where this time of year you see legions of Nonna’s in the morning sun bending over their unsure legs, pulling something or another out of the ground.  Content, they stuff their treasures in bags and sacks and hobble home.  As we walked thru the Borghese gardens, I couldn’t help but notice the frenzy.  It turns out the tradition of foraging and eating wild greens in the spring is an ancient one – going back not only to the middle ages but  ancient Rome and Greece.  High in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, the Greek physician Hippocrates encouraged his peers to feast on wild greens in the spring as a strengthening tonic for both the body and soul.  Point well taken as the Nonnas move through the park.  A young Italian man explained that “In the spring, it is what you do.”  Silly me for asking!  “You must clear out the winter in your body.” 

As soon as the early greens appear, traditional cooks forage in forests, and green markets for dandelion, watercress, mustard greens, lovage, mint, coriander, savory, sage, wild onions and garlic, often eaten as a salad or sautéd in olive oil as a side dish or mixed with pasta.

Kale Pesto Pasta

My take is a bit different.  I like to make an untraditional pesto.  This recipe is fast, healthy, easy and raw.  It can be easily be prepared with a food processor although traditionalists will want to use a mortar and pestle which will give you a finer mouth feel.  Unless I feel like fussing or impressing my friends with my borage shoots – the processor works just fine and saves so much time.  I’ll often double or triple the recipe to freeze for a quick meal later in the season.

Delicious and very satisfying – I like this on toasted garlic bread as an appetizer – “Wild Greens Bruschetta” or as shown over pasta – Wild Greens and Kale Pesto Over Buckwheat Pizzoccheri Pasta”.  With a few slices of prosciutto and a glass of a crisp white wine – a Pinot Bianco perhaps – it makes a perfect spring lunch or dinner.

An important note – foraging is fine if your dandelion studded lawn hasn’t been sprayed and is free of dogs and deer.  I highly suggest that you visit your local farmer’s market for baby kale, spring herbs, cress & mustard greens.  

Wild Greens and Kale Pesto Recipe

Kale Pesto Ingredients

2 Bunches of Baby Kale – full formed kale is fine, you will just have to take the time to strip the stalks
1 Bunch of Dandelion Greens
1 Bunch of Flat Leaf Parsley
1 Bunch of Mint
1 Orange – for zest
4 oz Raw Almonds – Pine Nuts, Brazil Nuts, Pistachios all work equally well
4 to 8 oz of Pecorino Romano Cheese – a nice Italian man explained to me that it melts better.
2 to 4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Cup + Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I prefer the early spring green oil if available
Sea Salt or Cayenne Pepper if you choose

Spring Greens

Prep your greens by washing and drying well.  I spray even organic vegetables with a solution of 2 T vinegar to 2 cups of water and then rinse well.

Rough chop the greens and cube the cheese.  The processor works best when all the items to be processed are about the same size.

Cheese and Nuts

Zest the Orange.  Juice the orange this is a nice addition to the pesto giving the greens a bit of a bright taste.

Begin by chopping 1/2 the greens in the food processor.  Drizzle 1/2 the olive oil and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

While the processor is on add the cheese, nuts, garlic and the zest.  Scrape down the bowl.

Scraping Pesto Bowl

Add the balance of the greens, and while the processor is on drizzle in the balance of the oil and a splash orange juice.

Taste for balance – you may need more oil or salt – I find that the cheese is salty enough.  The addition of cayenne is nice as well.

Kale Pesto

This pesto is ready to add to pasta or can be frozen for later use.  When serving with pasta – make sure that you add a splash of oil to the pasta bowl before you add the cooked pasta.  This will allow the pasta and the pesto to blend.

Oil in Bowl

Buckwheat Pizzoccheri is a particularly toothy pasta.  It is also lovely with a whole wheat orecchiette or a farfalle

Tutti a Tavola!

Kale Pesto Pasta

My Goodness, My Guinness Stew

Guinness Stew

March is here and Spring is in the air – or is it?  Having another long cold saturday in front of me, I decided to turn on the oven and celebrate the glimmering hints of Spring  by raising a strong cup of tea to St Patrick and the Irish – Peter O’Toole, Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers  and even Colin Farrell. With a Dexy’s Midnight Runner’s song playing in my head, and the sound track of Barry Lyndon playing in my heart – I began to make my “almost” famous Guinness Stew.  I found this recipe in a 1980‘s edition of Food & Wine and over the years I have tweaked and redefined the flavors to made this stew my own.  My friend Anita – who shared the same love of the Irish with me, would poetically describe the flavor of the mushrooms to our foodie friends – Joyce couldn’t have done any better.  She was always invited to our St. Patricks Day dinner as she was a dear, dear friend who loved Irish music, Irish men and “real” Irish stew just as much as I do.

This recipe makes enough for 8.  I make this quantity so that you will have leftovers  to freeze for an impromptu Sunday night supper.  It is a simple stew that benefits by slow and thoughtful cooking as well as a “rest” in the fridge for a day or two.  It gives a chance for the flavors of the spices to blend.

Guinness Stew ingredients


4 lbs. beef stew
6 T or more olive oil
2 lbs. white button mushrooms
1 lb. frozen pearl onions onions (as much as I love the baskets of fresh pearl onions – the frozen will save you time and is equally as good in the stew.)
4 carrots – give or take
4 ribs of celery
1 cup or more of flour
Sea Salt
2 t  Quatre Epice (mix equal parts of cloves, ginger, nutmeg & black pepper)
2 12 oz cans of Guinness Stout  (buy the 4 pack and enjoy the pour.)
1/3 cup ketchup – or if you prefer tomato paste which was what the original recipe called for.  ( I have no problem with ketchup after using it as an integral ingredient in David Bouley’s crab salad while working as Garde Manger at the 4 star restaurant.)
1 T Herbes de Provence – (an mix of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano & sometimes lavender)

A spice bag consisting of:
2 bay leaves, 1 t celery seed, 1/2 t mustard seed, 2 cardamon pods,6 all spice seeds, 6 white & 6 black peppercorns, 4 cloves, small piece of nutmeg, slice of ginger, pinch of red pepper flakes
2 T Josephine’s Fest Shinnecock Bay Spice Rub

pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Guinness Stew Steps 1

First trim the stew meat.  I like to cut my pieces into something that sits on a spoon – usually 1/3 the size of what my butcher provides.

Stem the button mushrooms and cut the caps into slices – I only use the caps saving the stems for a mushroom stock.

Peel the carrots and cut in half lengthwise and slice into 1/2’’ slices.  Do the same with the celrey.  Reserve the pearl onions.

Make a dredge using a bit more than a cup of flour, a good pinch of sea salt and 1 t Quatre Epice

Heat 2 T of the olive oil in a heavy cast iron pan.  When very hot and smoking, quickly dredge a hand full or two of the stew meat in the flour and sear on all sides.  Work quickly and in small batches using a bit more oil if needed.  The end result should be a juicy stew without steaming the meat in it’s own juice.  The object is to caramelize a  “crust”.  Work your way through all the beef in small batches.  Reserve.

While the meat is resting – add 2 T of olive oil to your roasting pan and place it on the stove.  Sauté the carrots & celery with a pinch of salt for 3 to 5 minutes.  Then add the mushrooms.  Once again – allow the carrots & mushrooms to cook and caramelize without steaming.  About 6 to 8 minutes.

Guinness Stew Steps 2

Add the stew meat and the onions.  And two cans of Guinness Stout and 1/3 cup of ketchup.  Scrape any bits that may be on the bottom of the pan.

Add a  Bouquet Garni – a cheese cloth tie made of 2 bay leaves, 1 t celery seed,1/2 t mustard seed, 2 cardamon pods,  4 all spice seeds,   6 white,  6 black peppercorns, 2 cloves, small piece of nutmeg, slice of ginger, pinch of red pepper flakes.

Cover and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 2 to 3 hours.

When finished test for seasoning.  A bit of salt can be added to taste.

This stew benefits by a long slow roast and is particularly good the second day so it is a terrific make ahead meal.

This stew is great with egg noodles or mashed potatoes.  But for a truly remarkable meal why cook up a pot of polenta while the stew is finishing?  Although this a a non-traditional accompaniment – it is immensely delicious and satisfying.  The leftovers can be rolled into a log – wrapped and refrigerated over night.  It is a perfect sliced and grilled to serve alongside the leftover stew.

Guinness Stew in Dis

“Gee, Your Pancakes are Terrific”

Stack of Banana Pancakes


Living a good life is like flipping pancakes. If you hesitate, it splatters all over the place.

Matt Simpson

Mr Simpson may be right – it takes a bit of a quick wit, a sure hand and a practice to make a perfect pancake – much like the perfect life.  A dissertation on life is quite beyond me.  But the perfect Sunday pancake – this is where I have some knowledge.

I love the idea of desert for breakfast – especially on a holiday, a lazy Sunday, or when we have guests – and it surely pleases the child in us all.  We love chocolate but a candy bar for breakfast is a bit decadent, although I have been known to enjoy a piece of dark chocolate with my morning coffee.

After pondering the conundrum – why not chocolate chip pancakes?  With  bananas – a current favorite and maybe a tricked out maple syrup and marmalade drizzle.  Now your talking – a dash of vanilla and a pitch of cinnamon could round out the flavors.  Sappy and wonderful just like sticky buns – but that’s another blog.

For a special spring brunch or special occasion they do blow the blueberries out of the park – but why not go one step further – heat the maple syrup and add a bit of bourbon the the marmalade.  Just don’t serve it to the kids – we’ll not cross any lines here.

We love them – even my husband who doesn’t eat desert loves them and most of all.  Jo and Lucky beg for more.

Chocolate Chip & Banana Buttermilk Pancakes with Marmalade Scented Maple Syrup

Pancake Ingredients

Ingredients for Recipe

3 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (All Purpose will do but I choose Whole Wheat)
1 T Baking Powder
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/4 t fine grain sea salt
2 t organic sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 t vanilla
4 T Butter (Melted & cooled – I often clarify my butter to remove the milk solids)
2 3/4 cup Buttermilk
4 eggs
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
4 ripe banana’s thinly sliced

Clarified butter for cooking (it’s easy and cooks at a higher temperature due to the removal of the milk fat)

Saucy Syrup
1 cup maple syrup
2 heaping T Blood orange or other marmalade


A dash of Cinnamon

Pancake Preparation Steps

Pancake Preparation Steps

  1. In a food processor whiz all ingredients for the pancakes except the chocolate chips and bananas
  2. Scrape bowl and whiz again – you may need a bit more buttermilk if the batter is too think
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle and drizzle a healthy dose of clarified butter to the pan
  4. when the pan is hat and not quite smoking drop 1/3 c (you can use a ladle, a measuring cup or an ice cream scoop for this.)
  5. As soon as the edges go firm add a few slices of banana and a spoon of chocolate chips.
  6. Cook for a minute or two and when the sides go golden – flip and continue cooking.
  7. Stack cooked pancakes of a warm plate.
  8. As the pancakes are cooking heat the maple syrup and the marmalade.  Stir – being careful not to burn the syrup.  Turn the fire off and keep warm
  9. To serve – stack 3 to 4 pancakes with the left over banana slices.
  10. Pour the warmed marmalade and Maple syrup over the pancake stack
  11. As an option sprinkle with cinnamon

Pancakes with Bananas

This recipe makes 30 pancakes – but the recipe can be  cut in half or saved for the following day.  I think pancake batter always tastes best the second day.

My Bliss Point – Upside Down Cake

NYT 24coverMy Sunday was sideswiped by the cover article of last weeks NYT magazine, “The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food” by Michael Moss . A fascinating expose of how large food brands seduce our senses with fast, easy to prepare (or pack, as in the case of Lunchables ) engineered “food”.

Building a product that tests high and bringing consumers to their “Bliss Point”  is the goal. Addicting them to fat, sugar and salt is how you measure success. Consumerism at it’s best and maybe most dangerous. But sales soar and brands grow. I don’t usually stand on a soap box pontificating about the horrors of engineered food. We all are lucky enough to make choices, and so much of success in life is about good choices. If you have the time I would recommend that you read this article.

But what is a real life “Bliss Point”?

We all have blissful food memories – a Sunday supper or home baked pies, an insane burger or a perfect Maraschino-cherried Manhattan at  a cozy bar.

For me, it was my mother’s sunday roast beef dinner. When it was a “special” dinner, it was always followed by a magical pineapple upside down cake that filled the air with the scent of caramelized sugar and tropical fruit.

The cake was a visual delight – plotted rings of pineapples stuffed with bright red maraschino cherries. There was something so exotic and wonderful about the smell of pineapple and caramelized sugar with a suggestion of cinnamon. The drama of turning out the cake was always a theatrical moment with lots of fuss and bravado. The pan was flipped on a dinner plate revealing the glorious design of the pineapple rings. The burnt sugar glaze dripping down the side of the soft white cake. The gesture of the flip was usually reserved for my father – as it took some strength to flip the hot pan and not drop the dinner plate as the cake surrendered. If we were lucky, my mother would serve it al la mode with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. And yes, to my 10 year old experience it was it was perfectly blissful.

My recipe is adopted from my mother’s with a bit more bravado than even my father could achieve. I chose to substitute star fruits for the pineapples and I added bananas and blood orange marmalade along with cardamon and nutmeg to the cinnamon and vanilla. I really changed the recipe – to enhance my adult bliss. But you can add and subtract as your own flavor profile suggests. I tried this out at a casual saturday night dinner when Sean & I had invited guests. Lets just say it fast and easy to prepare – the perfume of the citrus and spices filled our home and the theatrical flip of the upside down cake was not wasted on Stephen who adores an operatic gesture at the Met or where ever he can find one.

A Cold Winter’s Night Star Fruit & Banana Upside Down Cake with Blood Orange Marmalade


Upside Down Cake Ingredients

1/2 cup blood orange marmalade – we use Josephine’s feast! Fine Cut Blood Orange Marmalade.  But any marmalade will do
1 star fruit – 1/2 slices
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced organic bananas
8 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup sugar – I prefer organic, along with being healthier it has a rich warm color
1 egg
1 T vanilla
3/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t cardamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1-1/3 cups cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1/2 cup milk
whipped cream or ice cream (optional)


Upside Down Cake Steps 1

Prepare the Skillet – Slice Fruit – add Marmalade

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 10 inch cast iron skillet.

Heat the pan over the stove top and spread the marmalade evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Place the star fruit in simple pattern and add the banana slices covering the marmalade – but allowing the rind to show thru.

Preparing the Batter

Preparing the Batter

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. I use a hand mixer for this as my mother always did

Continue to beat while adding the egg, vanilla, and spices.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Alternately add the dry ingredients and milk to the butter mixture, a bit at a time, then stir until just combined.

Pour the batter evenly and completely over the fruit that line the skillet.

Upside Cake Cooked in Skillet

Bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Loosen the cake from the skillet by running a knife around the edge of the pan.

Plate on Skillet and Upside Down cake

Get Ready to Flip!

Invert a serving platter over the cake and turn over so that the cake rests on the platter. Gently lift the skillet, the fruit and marmalade layer should now be on the top of the cake.

Star Fruit and Banana Upside Down Cake

Star Fruit, Banana and Marmalade Upside Down Cake

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. But this is a beautiful cake with a desert wine by a winter fire. Serves 8 to 10.