Sunday, August 14, 2016

Peach Upside Down Rum Cake

Well summer is at an end. School is right around the corner as well as cooler weather. In order to say goodbye to summer, I decided to make this peach upside down cake. The addition of rum makes it a delicious adult dessert.

Teaming juicy carmelized fruit with fluffy tender cake is nothing short of an amazing combination. These days, upside down cakes are not just limited to pineapple. I have seen cranberry and pear- the list goes on. The only thing to take into consideration would be the juiciness of the fruit. For instance, an orange upside down cake would be quite different from apple. Peaches put out quite an amount of juice, so please review tips and notes on this issue in particular if you plan to make this.

In this recipe, the caramel is made in a skillet and then the fruit goes in. After that, the batter is put on top and it then goes in to bake. You can use a cast iron skillet or a springform pan. It comes together quite quickly once all the prep work of peeling and slicing the peaches is completed.

Peach Upside Down Rum Cake
adapted from the LA Times

1 tsp almond extract
3 tbs lemon juice
3/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
6 tbs and 3 tbs butter at room temperature
2 lbs peaches peeled
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

Start by preparing the peaches by slicing into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you are not baking this in a cast iron skillet, you will use a 9 inch springform pan. This pan should be lined on the bottom and 1 inch up the sides with parchment paper.

Fill a 10-12 cast iron skillet (if you intend to bake the cake in it) or saucepan with the 3 tbs of butter. Place pan over medium heat and melt. Once melted, stir in the brown sugar. Continue to stir until brown sugar is no longer grainy, it will become smoother as it cooks. Then, mix in the honey and lower the heat.

As that is cooking, drain the peaches in a sieve. Slowly add the peach slices to the brown sugar mixture, stirring to insure that all sides are coated. Stir gently until all slices are glossy. This should take about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. If you are baking in a cast iron skillet, make sure all the peaches are spread evenly along the bottom of the pan and let the pan cool. Otherwise, empty the saucepan into the springform pan and spread peach mixture evenly along the bottom. Set aide.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium size bowl. Then take out a larger bowl and add the 6 tbs of the butter and white sugar. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and light. Add one egg and almond extract, then beat for 30 seconds. Add the remaining egg and beat.

Once all is blended, fold in 1/3 of the sifted ingredients into the egg batter. Pour in 1/2 cup of rum and stir until blended. Add 1/2 of the remaining dry ingredients and fold in. Stir in the remaining amount of rum and lastly, fold in the rest of the sifted ingredients.

Using a large spoon, drop spoonfuls of batter on top of the peach mixture. Once all is on top of the peaches, smooth the batter to the edges. Place pan or skillet in oven to bake until tester comes out clean. This should take about 45 minutes if baking in a cast iron skillet or longer with a springform. pan. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before flipping over and removing parchment. The cake is best served at room temperature.

Tips and Notes:
1. I baked my cake in a 12 inch springform pan. There was still enough of a peach layer to cover the bottom completely, so there was no change there. I believe a 9 inch pan would have a much thicker coating of peaches at the bottom. Regarding the batter, it was 1 1/2 times the ratio of the above recipe.
2. My caramel mixture turned quite watery after adding the peaches. In order to compensate, I added another 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup more of honey.  I let it cook down a bit more to let some of the juices evaporate, so it became more like caramel again.
3. The rum flavoring of the cake was quite prevalent. As you know, the flavor gets stronger with time. Should you not want to use rum, feel free to use peach nectar or some peach liqueur.
                                                **LAST YEAR: Citrus Snap Cookies**