Well, friends, summer is reaching its end. All the kiddos are back in school, I actually felt something resembling a chill while sitting outside the other night, and I’m starting to play the annual game of what I like to call, “Bug hubby to go apple-picking with me until he caves.” Psh. As if he doesn’t actually love it.
Now, I realize this recipe is somewhat rude. See, I made it a few weeks ago, when we were still getting very lovely peaches from the farmers market. And now, well… the tide of peaches has kind of ebbed. But I’m still seeing them in the grocery store, so it’s not quite as rude of me as it would be if I shared this recipe with you in, let’s say, February. Trust me, this cake is worth finding the peaches for.
Do you like peaches? Do you like dark, syrupy caramel? Do you like moist, delicately spiced cake? You do?! I thought you might! This cake has all of those things and more. More, because they’re all intermingled and baked together like a giant peach-caramel-cake group hug. And then their friend vanilla ice cream comes along and it’s just pure magic.
Don’t be frightened by making the caramel- it’s two ingredients, for goodness’ sake, and it only takes a few minutes. If you keep an eye on it, and don’t take the dog for a walk or anything like that, it will turn out fabulously. And beyond that, all you have to do is slice up some peaches (you don’t even have to peel them!) and make up a simple cake batter.
Quick, get to it, while the peaches are there to be gotten and while the nights are still warm enough to sit on your porch with a slice of peach cake after dinner.
Peach Upside Down Cake
pinched, then tweaked, from the NY Times
3 large, ripe peaches
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking spice (or cinnamon, if you don’t have it)
1/4 pound unsalted butter, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch pie pan.
Pit the peaches and cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Arrange the slices in a pattern on the bottom of the pie pan.
Combine 1/2 cup of the sugar with the water in a saucepan or skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture turns amber. Remove from heat immediately and pour this caramel evenly over the peaches in the pie pan.
Stir the flour, baking powder and nutmeg together and set aside.
Beat the butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar together until light. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Stir in the flour. Spread the batter evenly over the peaches and caramel.
Bake for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the sides, then invert the cake onto a platter set on a cooling rack. If any of the peaches stick to the pan, lift them off carefully and replace them on top of the cake. Serve the cake warm or cooled to room temperature, preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.