Saturday, August 27, 2011

What's Baking? August: Celebrate Summer

Our August What's Baking? theme was chosen by Jade from The Mess Pot. Celebrate Summer is baking with things that remind you of summer, or that are in season. So of course I had to choose one of my favorite summer fruits, peaches.

I went to Tougas Farm on Thursday to pick peaches, and I was surprised by how crowded it was! Especially on a Thursday! But perhaps part of it was everyone hurrying to do it before the hurricane comes and destroys what's left. I planned to pick a peck of peaches, because I'm not so thrilled about canning this summer (no reason), but when I got there I picked a half bushel.

I felt I needed to bake something for the hurricane (i.e. something to eat if we lose power), and Clint's not a huge peach fan but I wanted something he might eat, too. Normally it'd be a no-brainer to bake a peach pie (YUM) or cobbler (also YUM), but I just didn't feel like it. So I looked around, and found a recipe for peach upside-down cake. I'd never think to use peaches in this, but they take really well to this recipe. I was also very clever and cooked up more peaches before adding the cake batter so that I had to eat them (well ok, that wasn't so much planning ahead as the pan just happening to be too crowded), and I honestly think I'd do step 1 as a quick dessert over pound cake or ice cream some day. The caramel sauce from the peaches also soaks into the cake nicely and gives it a delicious flavor.

Peach and Cornmeal Upside-down Cake

For the peach topping:
3 peaches, cut into wedges (12 wedges per peach) (I left the skin on)
3T butter
1/4 cup sugar

For the cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1t vanilla
1/2 cup cream (I used fat free 1/2&1/2)
3/4 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1t baking powder
3/4t salt
1t lavender (I skipped, couldn't find my lavender! I know I have some)

Step 1, for the peach topping:
in a 10in cast iron skillet (I used my Le Creuset braiser), melt the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle the sugar over, and stir around a bit and cook for 3min, until it starts to caramelize. Add the peaches and arrange in circles. I actually just dumped the peaches in, it was too hard with the spattering caramel when the cold peaches hit to arrange them, so I dumped them all in and then arranged them with the wooden spoon. Cook until they're soft, about 15min. Remove from heat.

Step 2, for the cake:
Cream together butter and sugar, for about 3 min, til fluffy. Then add eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and cream. Whisk together remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add in 2 batches to the cake batter.

Step 3, for assembly:
Drop spoonfuls of the cake batter over the peaches, then spread around with a spatula. Bake at 350F for... well, the original recipe said 20-22min. It took me about 40. Set the timer for 20 and keep checking.

Let the cake rest about 10 min, then run a knife along the edge, and invert on a serving plate.


1 comment:

Jade said...

This sounds so good and looks beautiful. I love that you went to pick your own peaches. Stay safe in the hurricane. Thanks for your submission.