1. Sometimes I get in trouble with my sister because I kind of throw things together when I cook and I'm not the best at measuring or following the recipe.
  2. I have a lot of recipes in my house from my great grandma that have measurements like a light handful of sugar or one good-size pinch of nutmeg, so I think I come by it honestly.
  3. But I will try to be specific for you.
  4. The cake part of this is based loosely on this plum tatin recipe by The Barefoot Contessa. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/plum-cake-tatin-recipe.html
    My daughter says that maybe if I was more careful I'd have her life and I remind her that if I had been more careful she wouldn't be here.
  5. Usually I try to live my life by WWTBFCD, (what would The Barefoot Contessa do?) and I CAN make the caramel sauce by cooking the sugar and being careful, but do I have time for that today?
    No, I'm getting really behind on my Netflix.
  6. So I take my cast iron skillet and melt a stick of butter in it.
    Sometimes it's a little less butter if I've lopped the end off to make eggs or something.
  7. I turn off the heat and dump in about a cup of brown sugar and try to spread it out evenly but it doesn't need to be mixed in with the butter.
  8. Then I dump a bag of fresh cranberries on top. I think my bags are 12 oz, but a little more or less won't hurt. You can use them straight from the freezer if that's where you've been keeping them since last Christmas, no need to thaw.
    You could also use any other fruit you want/have. I've used bananas, plums cut in half, drained pineapple chunks, cherries, pears.
  9. Then I make the cake part.
  10. Preheat your oven to 350F
  11. 6 tablespoons of butter
    Just like above when I'll use less, sometimes I'm lazy and use the whole stick here. It's not the proper way, but it's my way.
  12. 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    Cream this up with the butter for a few minutes until everything is smooth. Sometimes I'm more careful about this than others.
  13. Then add two eggs and mix them in well.
  14. Now here is where I disagree with bakers everywhere because they always want to use lemon and vanilla together. I really like vanilla and I REALLY LOVE lemon, but I think when you put them in a cake together they just muddy up the flavor. I just use lemon in this recipe.
    I don't measure the zest or the juice, I just zest one lemon and use the juice from it. Sometimes there is a little less and sometimes a little more but it works for me.
  15. Then a little bit of salt, and about 1/3 cup sour cream and mix it up really well.
    I've also used plain Greek yogurt or even some heavy cream. It'll be fine.
  16. Then I add more baking powder than she calls for, I use 1tsp.
  17. And flour. The recipe calls for 1 cup plus two tablespoons. I usually use a bit more than this, depending on how much liquid I've added above. I realize this isn't very helpful, but I'm mostly looking for a thick but sticky spreadable batter.
    A little thinner or thicker will still bake up and still taste delicious though because of all the butter/sugar/fruit deliciousness.
  18. Then I spread the batter out over the fruit all the way to the edges of the pan.
  19. And bake for about 40 minutes. I'd check it at 30 minutes but I've had it take up to 50 minutes or so. Take a butter knife or a toothpick or a skewer and push it down in the middle to make sure that there is no wet batter in the middle.
    Usually it'll be a little browned on the edges, your butter/sugar/fruity juices will be bubbling up on the sides and the cake will be pulling away from the sides a little.
  20. Take it out. Let it rest just for a minute or five so you don't burn yourself on hot sticky sugar, then put a plate on top and flip the whole thing over and shake a little bit and it should come out in one piece.
  21. You might have a rogue piece or two of fruit stick to the pan so you can reposition them on the cake or claim them for your own, depending on how you roll.
  22. Then eat! Ice cream or whipped cream is good. It's good warm or room temperature.