I promised to share my recipe for peach upside-down cake, but it slipped my mind amidst all the back-to-school hustle and bustle. Many thanks to readers for reminding me.
Peach Upside-Down Cake is a marvelous dish with a less-than-marvelous name. When I made it for my parents a few weeks ago, my dad raised his eyebrows when he walked through the kitchen and asked what I was making, then left without a word. Not until I brought it to the table and he saw the rings of caramelized peaches nestled in tender cake did he begin to change his mind.
That night, I got to thinking. Next time I serve this dessert, I’m not going to call it Peach Upside-Down Cake. Starting now, I christen it Peach Tatin, like the Tarte Tatin made in France with caramelized apples.
Peach Upside-Down Cake
Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1/2 cup more
3/4 cup brown sugar
5-6 peaches, peeled and thickly sliced, quartered or halved (depending on your design preference)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipping cream and honey, if desired
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt 3 tablespoons butter and brown sugar in a small non-stick pan over medium heat. Remove from heat and spoon into a deep-dish pie pan (I use a glazed Emile Henry deep-dish pie pan and have never had a problem with sticking). Starting on the outside, arrange peaches in a decorative pattern. Remember, this is what you’ll see when you flip over the cake. I like to fan them out between peach halves placed at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, with another half-peach in the middle; this will make more sense if you look at the picture.
Soften 1/2 cup butter and cream it with 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Add the extracts and eggs (one at a time) and beat well. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt and add it to the wet ingredients. Mix well, then spoon over the peaches and bake until the cake is done.
After the cake has cooled enough to handle, put a serving plate over the top of the pan and flip the cake over. Take care because the pie pan will still be very hot. If desired, make some homemade whipped cream. As it starts to thicken, drizzle in honey to taste, then continue whipping. P.S. This cake doesn’t taste nearly as good the following day, but I suspect you won’t have any leftovers.