Run! Go now and buy alllll the peaches.
You have to make this peach upside-down cake before they’re gone for the season and our peach fixes are relegated to opening a frozen bag or can of peach slices. Yeah, yeah, they’re fine, but there’s nothing like a fresh, juicy peach to eat out of hand, with juices dripping down your chin.
Okay, so you won’t get that effect with this cake, but you do get all the deliciousness of thick peach slices baked in caramel underneath a moist cake batter made with creme fraiche. Serve with whipped cream spiked with creme fraiche for a double whammy of tangy French sour cream (I bet they hate when we call it that.)
This is similar to a pineapple upside-down cake, wherein you layer fruit slices in the bottom of a cake pan, pour caramel over and bake into a cake batter. In fact, I use a similar cake batter spiked with sour cream for my favorite pineapple upside-down cake recipe.
The creme fraiche in this batter was a happy accident because I, knowing full well how often this comes back to bite me in the tush, of course didn’t read the recipe in its entirety and assumed it went into the batter. Well, guys, it was supposed to be served on the side, but I threw it in the batter to happy and perfect results! Winging it while baking isn’t always as scary as it seems.
Making caramel seems daunting at first, but it’s actually quite easy as long as you pay attention to the color of your caramel. Seriously, Amanda, just pay attention while you’re making and quite second-guessing yourself on if it’s done. I burnt the first batch…like burnt-black and hard as hell. Luckily, the ingredients are relatively inexpensive if you mess it up (sugar + water) and you hopefully won’t feel bad about starting over if you need to. P.S. I got it right the second time. JUST REMEMBER NOT TO TASTE THE CARAMEL…unless you don’t want to be able to taste your freshly baked cake…or anything, for days.
Aside from being beautiful, it is actually a quick baking recipe to prepare. The peaches take no time to slice, the caramel comes together in less than 10 minutes and the batter is a cinch.
It looks impressive, and only you have to know how easy it was!
Go ahead, cut yourself a big ol’ slice and get a headstart on that winter bod.
PEACH UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE
Yield: 8 servings
Inspiration: Peach Upside-Down Cake on nytimes.com
1 stick (113 grams) butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 large, ripe peaches (about 1 to 1-1/4 pounds)
1-1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (128 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (4 ounces) crème fraiche
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with a 9-inch round of parchment and lightly coat with butter.
Pit the peaches and slice into about 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the peach slices in a pattern in the bottom of the greased pan.
Combine 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar with 1/4 cup water in a saucepan or skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture turns amber, about 7 to 9 minutes. Watch it closely! Immediately remove from the heat and pour in 1 tablespoon cream; it will bubble up violently, but once it settles, you can stir it around. Quickly pour this over the peaches.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter and remaining 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Beat the eggs in one at a time, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl often. Beat in the crème fraiche until mixed. With the mixer on low speed, stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Spread the batter evenly over the peaches.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden-brown and a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Run a thin-bladed knife around the sides, place a rimmed platter on top and gently invert the cake on the platter. Replace any peach slices if any get stuck or fall off. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with whipped cream spiked with a little crème fraiche.