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Oh, Joy: Strawberry Upside-Down Cake with Cardamom

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Summer can’t come soon enough for me, mostly because I’m eager to fill up on fresh fruit like melons, blueberries, and strawberries. Living in New England means I have to wait until early June for many of my favorites, since I have no intention of paying absurd prices for imported fruit.

Occasionally, I’ll reach for a pineapple for a fruit salad, but only if I find one that smells sweet and fragrant—a telltale sign of ripeness. Otherwise, it’s tough and acidic, and those little fibers get stuck in my teeth (attractive). Because pineapple is available year-round, I often overlook it in the summer months. And, barring the fruit salad, I don’t often think about using pineapple in my cooking, especially since I’ve never been a fan of the famous pineapple upside-down cake. There’s just something strange about it—maybe it’s those little, artificial-tasting maraschino cherries that ruin it for me. (See Fine Cooking’s version for an example of how Pineapple Upside-Down Cake should be done).

This week, Joy the Baker has piqued my curiosity with her Strawberry Upside-Down Cake with Cardamom—a fresh alternative that you can’t make year-round. Everything about this dessert looks sweet, rich, and natural.  Move over, pineapple. Strawberries have me coming around to the upside-down cake.

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