Topped with tangy cranberries in lieu of sweet pineapple, this recipe lends a distinctive New England flavor to old-fashioned upside-down cake.
To be sure you're using the freshest berries, you'll want to choose fruit that has bounce in it. Or you can put it to the water test. Small pockets of air trapped in fresh cranberries make them bounce -- and float in water.
Heat the oven to 350°. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and pour it into a 9-inch springform pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cranberries and the brown sugar, then scatter the mixture atop the butter. Sprinkle on the pecans.
Beat the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and the sugar at medium speed in a medium mixing bowl until well blended. Beat in the eggs one at time, then beat in the vanilla extract.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir well. Beat a third of the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Continue alternating in this way until you've beaten in the last of the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter evenly over the cranberries.
Bake the cake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then invert the cake onto a serving platter and remove the pan. Serves 10.