Rhubarb Upside Down CakeIngredients:
3/4 lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1 ½" pieces on an angle
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus 6 tbsp. cut into 1/2" cubes and chilled
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup milk
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving (optional)
1. Heat oven to 375. Combine rhubarb, 1 cup sugar, 4 tbsp. butter, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a 9" cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is melted and rhubarb is tender and slightly caramelized, 8-10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining sugar and salt, plus flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add remaining butter and the shortening and, using your fingers, rub into flour mixture to form coarse pea-size pieces. Add milk and eggs and stir until a soft, sticky dough forms. Place spoonfuls of dough over rhubarb mixture and smooth with a nonstick spatula. Bake until the crust is golden and cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove skillet from oven; place a large flat serving platter on top of the skillet and invert quickly and carefully. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream, if you like.
NOTE: For this cake made in the style of a tarte Tatin, rhubarb is caramelized until soft before being topped with batter and baked.