Do you remember the first time you made an “upside-down” cake? I recall being apprehensive about flipping the cake onto a platter, worried about a first class kitchen calamity. I mean, really, holding onto a hot cast iron skillet with one hand and a serving plate with the other, timing the flip while not shattering the plate nor slopping cake and gooey topping all over my kitchen floor seemed a colossal challenge.
Once I made the first one – a pineapple upside-down cake and discovered flipping was a piece of cake and I’d been fretting over nothing, upside down cakes became a favorite.
Now, I admit you must be strong and prepared for this step but once you’ve accomplished the first flip with success, the rest is history. I never use my vintage or antique platters to serve this cake from as using fragile items does seem a bit risky. Have you experienced success or kitchen disaster with “the flip”?
I really like this dessert as the “cake” part is substantial yet delicate and not at all heavy. It serves as a superb base for the fruit and gooey caramel topping. For best results this cake should be served while still warm from the oven, with the buttery caramel drizzling down the sides of the rich, tender cake.
Peach Upside-Down Cake
1 pound ripe peaches
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ cup light honey, such as wildflower
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
1 ¾ cups self-rising flour
½ tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350*F. Drop peaches into a saucepan of boiling water for 15-30 seconds. Remove with a skimmer and rinse under cold running water. Rub off skins and slice the peaches about ¼ “ thick. You should have about 3 cups.
Place a 10” cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and ¼ cup of the sugar. Stir as the butter and sugar melt. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the syrup boils and thickens slightly, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Carefully arrange the peach slices in a decorative pattern, working from the outer edge to the center. Set aside.
To make the batter, place the cream and vanilla in a mixing bowl and whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 1 cup sugar in a stead stream and continue mixing until soft, do not over-mix. Add the eggs and beat until soft peaks form again. Sift the flour and salt over the top of the batter and fold in until evenly mixed. Gently pour the batter over the peaches in the skillet, spreading it evenly.
Place the skillet in the oven with a baking sheet placed on the shelf below to catch any drips. Bake for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake stand for 5-10 minutes. Place a heatproof serving dish on top and carefully invert so that the cake drops straight down over the center of your dish. To serve, use a serrated knife to cut through the peaches and the cake. This is best served warm from the oven.