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September 9, 2009

Peach Upside-Down Cake

I go through phases with my breakfasts.  Last winter, it was a slice of bacon and a fried egg every morning.  This summer, it has been dessert.  Fruit desserts, to be specific.  Fair Food has had fantastic peaches and nectarines all summer, so I decided to make a peach upside-down cake, adapted from foodblogga.

You may think that I just do what I want here on this blog, but, in fact, Jenn is my blogtator.  “No one likes posts without pictures, Helen!” she is constantly telling me.  So, when I told her that I was making a peach dessert, she asked how I was taking the skins off.  When I said, I wasn’t, that’s not my style, she said, “There’s nothing sicker than a peach or apple dessert with unpeeled fruit.”

So, I blanched them.  Or, rather, I blanched 3 nice, cooperative peaches, and I took a peeler to one naughty peach who wouldn’t give up its skin.  Just cut an X on the bottom of each peach, 30 seconds in boiling water, and all the good little peaches can be peeled with your fingers.  Here’s a tip for you: nude peaches are very slippery.  Quarter them before you peel.

Are those peaches swimming in butter?  Yes, they are!  There’s a good layer of brown sugar down there, too.  I waited until bda left the house to make this.  He seems to think that 2 oven fires involving brown sugar and butter should stop me from attempting future recipes, but I will not live in fear!

When the cake came out, all the leftover butter and brown sugar became a syrup that ran out of the pan onto the plate.  (You can see some there in the upper left corner of the picture.)  Yum!  I thought it was so sweet, I wouldn’t be able to eat it for breakfast.  HA, how foolish I am!  I ate it for a week straight.

Peach Upside-Down Cake

  • 1 stick butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3-4 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons water, orange juice or some combo of the two

Do not feel constrained by your hardware.  Use the 9” pan if you’ve got it, or an 8” pan if you don’t.  You will note that I never let my lack of a circular pan stop me from making cakes that might be more, ahem, aesthetically pleasing in a round form factor.

Preheat oven to 350.  Place butter in your baking pan, and place inside the pre-heating oven until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the butter.  Arrange the peach slices in the pan.

In a medium bowl, combine sifted flour, baking powder and salt, and stir.

In another bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until fluffy.

In a third bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar at medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla extract and liquid (water or juice) and beat well. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, and beat until well combined. Fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Pour cake mixture evenly over the fruit, and smooth with the spatula.

Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (40-45 minutes for a 9 inch pan, 50-55 minutes for an 8 inch pan.) Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert carefully onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wrap with tin foil or wax paper, and store at room temperature.

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