Parting is such sweet sorrow: Peach Upside-Down Cake
Not to brag too much but I have a farmer’s market in my neighborhood on Friday afternoons. And even though it is sometimes difficult to find a real farmer at this “farmers market” (it is very small and tends to have more resellers of produce and/or ‘artisans’ selling non-food wares), I did come across some of the last local peaches of the season here. They were plump SC grown peaches and I could not pass them up even though they cost, ‘gulp’, about twice what they did a couple of weeks before.
Not that my waistline needs it, but I felt like these fresh peaches, most likely my last of 2012, deserved to be eaten with some pomp and circumstance. I’ve been itching to make something “upside down” too, thus peach upside-down cake was birthed. Inspired by a recipe in my Fannie Farmer Cookbook, I set about testing this cake recipe and lo and behold it came out great on the first try. This never happens for me, I must confess. Usually it’s at least twice before I get it just right and deem worthy to share on southbyse.com
I would imagine that this basic technique and cake (adjust the spices) would work with any firm or semi-firm fruit like apple, apricot, pear and maybe even fig (if you can get them). Apples and pears may also require pre-cooking … perhaps on the grill? That would add an interesting twist.
This cake was also fun to make with the assistance of Girly Girl and she was astonished when I told her we would be flipping the cake upside down to get it out of the pan. I think she was even more surprised when she tasted it and decided that it was indeed ‘good’.
The last of the summer peaches got a fitting send off nestled in this rum and brown sugar infused butter-cake, served warm and topped with a dollop of real, homemade whipped cream. Farewell sweet, delicious South Carolina peaches…until we meet once again… next July.
Peach Upside-Down Cake
14 tbl butter
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tbl. dark rum
4 large ripe (but not over-ripe) peaches (about 2 ½ cups sliced)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted then measured
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. ground coriander
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
Preheat oven 350 degrees. In medium bowl mix 6 tablespoons melted butter with the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons rum. Pour this into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (wrap the bottom of the pan in foil to catch any sugar/butter that may leak out the bottom). Arrange about 2 cups of the peaches over this mixture. Set aside.
In a mixer cream 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) of butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, beating the mixture well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and mix well.
Sift flour, spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside. In a food processor or blender puree the remaining peaches, buttermilk and remaining 1 tablespoon rum. Add this to the sugar/butter mixture and mix well. Mix in the flour mixture.
Pour the batter over the peach slices in the springform pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes or until center is cooked through.
Remove to a rack but while cake is still very warm run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake. Remove the side of the pan and invert onto serving platter. Remove cake pan bottom. Serve warm with whipped cream or crème fraiche.