Tomato Upside-Down Cake

Recipe slightly adapted from Tomatomania! by Scott Daigre & Jenn Garbee, 2015
Makes one 9-inch cake

1 pound ripe heirloom tomatoes (choose different colors and varieties)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter,
plus 3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar packed
1 medium orange, for zesting
plus 1/4 cup fresh juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest (1 medium lemon)
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Créme fraîche and honey to serve, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-inch round spring-form pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper. Slice the tomatoes 1/3 inch thick, spread them out of paper towels to drain.

Melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar and cook just until the sugar is melted. Pour the brown sugar paste into the prepared pan and spread quickly evenly using a heat-proof spatula. Combine the orange and lemon zest and sprinkle 1 teaspoon over the top of brown sugar.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 8 tablespoons butter, honey, eggs, sour cream, orange juice, and remaining orange-lemon zest and mix well. A hand mixer will work as well. In small bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix until just well combined.

Blot off any moisture remaining from the tomatoes and arrange decoratively on the bottom of the pan. Leave space between the slices to see the patterns. Pour the batter over the tomatoes. Bake until the cake is lightly browned and starts to pull away from the edges of the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45-50 minutes.

Allow the cake to cook on wire rack about 20 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edges. Remove the springform side. Place a serving plate on top and with care turn the plate over, releasing the cake onto the plate. (Use over mitts as there may be some hot sugar around the edges) Allow the cake to cool completely. Slice and serve with créme fraîche and honey, if desired.

COOK’S NOTES: You can bake this cake in a standard cake pan, I chose the use a springform for ease of removing the cake. The sweet buttery brown sugar crust is a thing to behold, perfect with the sweet roasted tomatoes.