Upside Down Cranberry Apple Johnnycake

Upside Down Cranberry Apple Johnnycake

Unfortunately, I missed a Westside Women’s luncheon Saturday but I got two kids happily off to college and my school year is underway, too.  Things are settling in.  Hopefully you will find me back at my blog a little more regularly now that the Back-to-School rush is done.

I still had a few lingering tomatoes from my summer farm stand runs so I made my favorite Savory Tomato Tart.  This time it was more of a canyon than a tart.


We like the crust around here as much as the insides so I made a double crust for a single filling. The sides were admittedly a bit steep but we enjoyed the bonus crust that the double recipe provided.  See what I mean?



I used fresh basil from my Pink Flamingo Herb Garden and dried basil from my pantry. I won that beautiful pink flamingo at one of our family game nights.  He has been grazing in the herbs ever since.


For dessert I thought I would try a new recipe from a Fall Baking magazine from Taste of the South Publishers.  It is called Upside Down Cranberry Apple Johnnycake.

By now the sun was setting and I was able to snap a photo in the last rays of the evening. Quite a dramatic presentation.


Here is the recipe.  Commentary to follow.


Upside Down Cranberry Apple Johnnycake


1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons apple cider, divided

1 1/2 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (if desired) (I don’t really care if my apples brown a bit)

1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries

2 large eggs

1/3 cup whole milk

2 (8.5 ounce) packages of corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with shortening or butter.  In a small saucepan, bring brown sugar and butter to a boil over medium heat, stirring for about 3 minutes.  Add the 3 tablespoons apple juice and return to a boil cooking one minute more.  Pour into prepared pan and allow to cool.  In a small bowl, stir together the apples and lemon juice.  Arrange apple slices in a circle over cooled caramel in pan, overlapping slightly.  Top with cranberries.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and remaining 1/3 cup cider.  Add corn muffin mix, stirring until combined.  Pour batter over fruit, gently smoothing top with an offset spatula.  Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean,  30 – 35 minutes.  Let cool in pan for 30 minutes.  Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen, and invert onto a serving platter.


And now for my opinion.  It was a very showy and beautiful dish but it was a conundrum. Was it a cake?  Was it cornbread?  What would you eat it with?  I don’t want sweet corn bread with black-eyed peas but I don’t want a hunk of cornbread for dessert either.  It tasted great but it was a confusing dish to me.  I think the next time I make it I will use only one box of cornbread and more apples and then I think it will just be a nice layer of crust on the bottom and everyone will inquire as to whatever did I put on the bottom and I will make them guess and then at the most suspenseful moment ever I will tell them that it is cornbread. Of course this is how it plays out in my head so I will have to keep you posted after the real next time I make it.

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2 Responses to Upside Down Cranberry Apple Johnnycake

  1. Martha Thompson August 23, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

    Like yourself, not sure if the cornbread is a nice addition. I am going to try the recipe with a jiffy golden cake mix instead of the cornbread mix and maybe just use 1 mix and 1 egg and use the liquid called for with the cider and milk combo. It sounds delicious. Hope it works.

    • Julie August 23, 2016 at 4:59 pm #

      Let me know how it goes if you try it!

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