Friday, October 5, 2012

Upside-Down Caramelized Peach Cake

I was at the local Farmer's Market (again!) last weekend, excited to see all of the beautiful pumpkins, squash, apples and Fall flavors everywhere! I have to be honest that I was pretty surprised to still see peaches there since here in the South their peak season has passed. Turns out the peaches were freestone from Idaho, which I found out was about the last place that they are in season right now! Of course I couldn't resist my favorite fruit so I bought a small basket and after devouring a couple, I decided to find a yummy peach dessert to use the rest in. I pulled out an old Southern Living Magazine that I had kept from the summer and turned to this recipe. Perfect! I had all of the ingredients and knew I had to make it! One last shout-out to peaches for the year.

This cake turned out heavenly! My dad always made an incredible peach cobbler in a dutch oven when I was growing up, and this cake tasted very similar. The only major difference was the caramel that coated each beautiful slice. Oh, caramel.. I have a love-hate relationship with him. So delicious, smooth and creamy, but let it cook for just 10 seconds too long and you end up with a thick, black, stinky, smoky mess all over your pan. Gross. Thank goodness I had plenty of sugar to try again!

So as a suggestion: CAREFULLY watch the sugar as it's melting and turning that beautiful amber color. The first time I let the sugar cook until it was the perfect color, then took it off only to watch in horror as it quickly burned and tasted like those nasty popcorn kernels that cook too long. The second time I took my pan off the burner as soon as the sugar began to turn from clumps to liquid and stirred it for a couple more minutes until it was mostly melted. I left some clumps in the pan and they melted perfectly while the cake was baking. So aside from the tricky caramel, the rest was really easy. The cake was so moist and mixed great with the sweet/tart flavor of the peaches and hot caramel sauce. And of course a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream doesn't hurt either!

  • 4 medium peaches, unpeeled and cut into 1/3-inch thick wedges
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • 1 cup cake flour*
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup butter, at room temperature and divided
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss peaches with lemon juice, set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Cook 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a 10-inc cast-iron skillet over  medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, 5-6 minutes or until sugar melts and turns a light amber color (watch it carefully so it doesn't burn!!). Remove from heat. Immediately add 1/4 cup butter, stirring vigorously. Spread caramelized sugar to coat bottom of skillet evenly, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange peach wedges in concentric circles over sugar mixture, overlapping as needed.

Beat vanilla, remaining 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup butter at medium speed in an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.  Add sour cream, beating until blended. Gradually add in sifted flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended and stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Spoon batter over peaches in skillet and spread to cover.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in skillet for 10 minutes, run a knife around edge to loosen.

Carefully invert cake onto a serving plate and drizzle with any reserved liquid.  Cut cake into wedges and top with ice cream, if desired.

No comments:

Post a Comment