Two of this weeks’ desserts break my cardinal guideline of no fruit in dessert. I say guideline because by making it a “rule,” I’ve faced countless comments of censure from my apparently hard-nosed friends. Therefore, I take a book out of Captain Barbosa’s book and say it’s a guideline. One which I pretty much always follow. Except on my birthday, but then, rule or guideline, it’s meant to be broken.
While this is technically a dessert, I think it can also be eaten as a breakfast. I mean, it’s no worse, and probably better than all of those cream cheesy danishes out there. And since birthday week is definitely when it’s okay to eat cake for breakfast, I present to you Peach Upside Down Cake.
Why is this so special? Well, the story goes like this…
My brother and I both have summer birthdays, roughly two weeks apart (making us the same age until this Wednesay). While we suffered through the hot and gross Florida weather ten months of the year, we’d spend every summer break visiting my grandparents up in Fort Erie, Canada, just across the Peace Bridge from Buffalo, New York. To grandpa, it was heaven, and if such a place exists on earth, Fort Erie with the grandfolks was pretty close. They lived on an expansive park, where Little Buddha (“LB”) and I played endless games of baseball, swung from any available tree, and earned numerous bumps, bruises and scrapes as we roller skated, biked, camped and played. Basically doing what one is supposed to do on summer vacation. Television was not an option, but why would we want it to be?
To add to all of the above awesomeness, one of my fondest memories was, come birthday time, grandma would make her peach upside down cake, because inevitably LB’s or my birthday would fall during those two summer weeks a year when peaches are at their best. And grandma definitely helped them to shine. This is one of my most visually impressive dishes, but it honestly couldn’t be easier. Easy to whip up for a last minute guest or just because you’re feeling peachy. I actually had not known that the famous pineapple upside down cake was the most popular version of this until three or so years ago.
One note on the peaches: While I admire the time and effort it takes to peel and use fresh peaches, ever since I’ve been a grown up on my own, I just use canned. I told Mama Buddha this and she was a bit appalled, since she’s always used fresh. However, have you ever peeled peaches? You have to boil water, drop them in for about 20 seconds and then somehow peel them without burning yourself. No thanks, I’ll let others do the work on this one.
2 cans peach halves, rinsed of the gross syrup, and sliced thinly
¼ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
½ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup sifted cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
whipped cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Melt 1/4 cup butter in a round pie plate (I just put the glass pie plate directly on the flame. Not sure if this is good or bad, but I've never had a problem with it. Just be careful because it gets hot). Add the brown sugar and blend well until it gets good and caramely.
Arrange the peach slices on the sugar mixture and set aside.
Sift together the dry ingredients (baking powder, salt, and flour). In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar. In yet another measuring cup, mix together the milk, egg and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, alternating with the liquids. Stir until well combined, but do not over beat.
Pour the batter over the peach slices in the pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
Cool the cake in the pan for 3 minutes, and then invert on a serving plate, and let stand one minute before removing the pan.
Serve with whipped cream (or ice cream) and pecans, if desired. And you should
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World http://thehungarybuddha.com/
Please note that this post has been updated since it was first published with updated and infinitely better pictures. The same witty soliloquy remains.
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