I made this cake for the first BBQ of the summer, given by friends brave enough to have an outdoor party in May. Locals clad in down puffies and their very best Uggs traipsed through the snow and mud, laden with pots and platters, salad bowls and loaves of bread. Me, I always bring dessert.
This peach blackberry upside down cake is always a hit, and someone suggested that I blog it for you all. I'm a bit behind schedule, but just in time for the explosion of pristine fruit at the Farmers' Markets.
Local volunteers like Joan keep the Saturday Farmers' Market on the Town Square going strong in its 11th year.
This is peak season for fruit at the local Farmers' Markets, and I bet your kitchen is being taken over by wall-to-wall trays of peaches, blackberries, blueberries, plums and nectarines.
I have set aside a good part of today to "manage" all my Farmers' Market finds. Berries will be washed and dried, laid out on a single layer on baking trays lined with wax paper, and then frozen. Then they will be placed into pint-sized baggies, ready for smoothies, muffins, or an impromptu mid-January upside down cake.
Everyone loves Sloan, who procures the very best produce for the Saturday Farmers' Market on the Town Square, and her own weekend market over by the Movieworks plaza.
I love taking photos at Sloan's market. The wicker baskets of fruit have a nostalgic, timeless quality that reminds me of the roadside stands of my youth.
Sweet late-season corn will be cut from the cob and frozen in baggies for potato corn chowder with bacon, tortilla soup, or roasted summer sweet corn with miso butter and bacon (recipe coming soon).
I bought way too many of these peppers from Sloan, but I'll love having roasted and sliced peppers stashed in the freezer for soups and enchiladas.
Nectarines and peaches will be halved and sliced, frozen on trays, and likewise bagged up and stashed in the freezer.
These gorgeous Asian plums (satsumas I believe) would be so good in a simple tart with an almond crust and a frangipane custard, although they are irresistible eaten out of hand, and there may not be any left over to freeze.
I love bringing dessert to parties. Sharing sweets with friends is one of life's greatest pleasures. Besides, I am not to be trusted home alone with a half-eaten cake. Especially this cake, although it is on the healthier end of the dessert spectrum, with a hearty whole wheat and yogurt crumb and an abundance of anti-oxidant rich berries and fruit. I have been known to serve this for breakfast to my kids, with a dollop of honey yogurt on the side, consoling myself that at least they are eating a serving of fruit.
This cake always comes to mind during Huckleberry Season, which apparently came and went while I was out mountain biking. If you have some huckleberries, you will certainly want to showcase them with this beautiful upside-down creation. If not, just about any fruit will do, and right now I am wholeheartedly addicted to the combination of blackberries and peaches.
It is also very, very special made with cubes of mango, either alone or in combinations with your favorite berry. I have also tried apple, pear, nectarine, and of course pineapple, the classic fruit that started the whole upside-down-cake craze.
Start stocking up on fabulous fruit, and you'll be able to whip up this cake all winter long. All long, long, long winter long. Fruit from the freezer makes winter brighter. Hurry though; the last Saturday Farmers' Market on the Town Square is next weekend, September 24.
For a printable version of the recipe, click on the file below it.
Peach Blackberry Upside-Down Cake
This versatile cake can be made with any fruit you fancy. It's perfect now for ripe, late-summer fruit. It will be just as good in the winter with apples and pears (maybe spiked with some crystallized ginger), or mango and berries pulled from your freezer.
Place frozen fruit in a fine mesh sieve to thaw and drain before using.
You'll need a 10-inch skillet with an ovenproof handle for this recipe, and a large and a medium bowl. Much like muffin batter, you don't want to mix it too vigorously; just mix wet with dry ingredients until combined.
This recipe comes from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday cookbook, which he makes with pineapple and calls Volteado de Piña en Sartén.
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3 cups fruit (I used 2 cups of sliced and peeled peaches and 1 cup of blackberries. If using mango, pear, pineapple or apple, cut the fruit into 1/2 inch cubes)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup buttermilk or plain (not non-fat) or honey yogurt
- Oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
- Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet (nonstick is good, and with an ovenproof handle). Swirl the butter over medium heat until it turns nut-brown. Pour the butter into a medium bowl. Don't wipe out the skillet.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bottom of the skillet. Top with the fruit in an even layer.
Butter is browned in the skillet, then poured into a bowl to make the batter. The solids are left behind, then covered with a layer of brown sugar, then fruit.
You can arrange the fruit in a nice pattern, if you like, or just dump it all in like I do, making sure the berries are evenly distributed.
4. In the large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
5. Add the white sugar to the bowl with the browned butter. Beat in the egg, and the the buttermilk or yogurt.
6. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and mix just to combine.
7. Spoon the batter over the fruit in the skillet. The batter will be very thick.
8. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the center is set. Check for doneness with a skewer; you don't want the middle to be gooey (which has happened to me if I use too much fruit).
9. Remove from the oven, keeping the handle of the pan covered with a pot holder, and let cool for at least 30 minutes.
10. Invert a plate over the skillet and carefully flip over the skillet. Voilá. Volteado! Slice and serve.
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Culinary Word: Frangipane. A rich creme patisserie flavored with ground almonds and used as a filling or topping for pastries and cakes.