Monday, September 13, 2010

Absent - Peach Upside Down Cake from Leah

I've been shamefully absent in blogging lately, and can't provide much by way of an excuse. Other than the fact that I've been eating out quite a bit lately, and when I'm not doing that, I'm eating handfuls of cherry tomatoes like they're going out of style (or season, as the case may be).

Friday was an embarrassment of Bay Area riches. Literally. Breakfast AND dinner at Pizzaiolo, and what may be one of the best sandwiches I've ever had (Pulled Pork BBQ) from a new place in Berkeley, Ironwood BBQ. Go there. Trust.

It's always fun to bring a person to Pizzaiolo who's never been there before. I talk it up beforehand quite a bit, and people are always skeptical, thinking it won't be quite as good as I've promised, but it always, always is. It was a stellar meal on Friday that included padron peppers with burrata cheese, halibut carpacio with avocado, and a squid and cherry tomato pizza with a farm egg on top. Not once have I ever been anything less than extremely impressed with a dish there. I hadn't been in quite awhile, so I figure 2 meals there in one day make up for it.

Man, am I lucky to live here.

I did stop by the farmer's market this morning to stock up on more tomatoes and peaches. Not sure how much longer they'll be in season. While picking out some juicy and fat looking peaches, I remembered that Leah had sent me this recipe for Peach Upside Down Cake. It comes highly recommended. Just thought I'd pass it on...make it while you can!

Peach Upside-Down Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen by Leah

3-4 peaches - skinned and sliced thinly
1/4 stick unsalted butter - cut into small cubes
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup peach juice or apple juice

Special equipment: A well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9″ spring form cake pan. I used a fluted one because I had it.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make topping: Arrange peaches in the bottom of the pan in overlapping concentric circles. Sprinkle brown sugar and butter over the peaches.

Make batter: Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add half of flour mixture and beat on low speed just until blended. Beat in juice, then add remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended. (Batter may appear slightly curdled.)

Spoon batter over peach topping and spread evenly. Bake cake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake stand in skillet/pan for five minutes. Invert a plate over skillet/pan and invert cake onto plate (keeping plate and skillet/pan firmly pressed together). Replace any peach stuck to bottom of skillet.

Serve cake just warm or at room temperature.

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