Winter Peach Upside-Down Cake

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Serves: 8 to 10

Oven Temperature: 350˚F/175˚C

Baking Time: 45 to 55 minutes

I wanted to add this wonderful recipe to Rose's Baking Basics but there just wasn't room for one more, so here it is now! Happy first day of Winter!

In mid-winter, or any time at all for that matter, when one is longing for fresh peaches for baking, this amazing and easy to make topping using frozen peaches is the answer. Surprisingly, the frozen peaches, when thawed and baked, are firm and juicy. I adapted this technique, created by my wonderful friend Emeril Lagasse, for a Good Morning America on line site. The cake component is my favorite sour cream recipe I use for a fruit upside-down cake because it holds together well, and has a dense but tender crumb. I added almond extract, which is a natural synergy with peach.

I also encourage you to try the food processor Almond Upside-Down Cake that is the base cake for sour cherry from Cenk’s Sönmezoy’s marvelous book The Art of Baking Artful Baker. He has generously given me permission to offer it to you. It is incredibly quick and easy to mix but has a perfectly even and tender crumb. 

Equipment One 9 by 2 inch high round pan, encircled with a cake strip, coated with baking spray with flour, bottom lined with a parchment round; a baking stone (optional)

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Make the Peach Topping

1) Drain the peaches and set them between paper towels to absorb excess liquid. If some of the slices are thicker than the others, slice them in half with a small serrated knife.

2) Pour the melted butter into the cake pan and spread it evenly with a pastry brush. Then sprinkle the brown sugar evenly on top

3) Arrange the peach slices on top of the sugar, either with the rounded ends facing the sides of the pan or sideways, overlapping slighted as needed to fit them all in.

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Preheat the Oven

* Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and place the optional baking stone on top. Set the oven at 350˚F/175˚C.

 Mise en Place

* About 1 hour ahead, set the butter and eggs on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C).

Make the Batter

1) Into a small bowl, weigh or measure the egg yolks. Add 30 grams/2 tablespoons of the sour cream, and the almond and vanilla extracts, and whisk lightly until combined.

2) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the butter and remaining 91 grams of sour cream and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

3) Starting on medium-low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in two parts, beating on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 

4) Drop the batter in large blobs over the peaches and with a small offset spatula, carefully spread it evenly.

Bake the Cake

5) Set the cake pan on the baking stone and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed. An instant-read thermometer should read about 208°F/98˚C.

Unmold, Cool and Serve the Cake

6) Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Run a metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving plate and cool completely.

Store Airtight: room temperature, 1 day; refrigerated, 3 days; frozen, 3 months.

Baking Pearl

The baking stone helps to deepen the caramel on the peaches.

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Cenk’s Almond-Upside Down Cake (adapted from The Artful Baker)

Equipment One 9 by 2 inch high round pan, encircled with a cake strip, coated with baking spray with flour, bottom lined with a parchment round; a baking stone (optional)

Peach Topping as Above

Preheat the Oven

* Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and place the optional baking stone on top. Set the oven at 325˚F/160˚C.

Mise en Place

* About 1 hour ahead, cut the butter into large pieces and set it on the counter at room temperature (65˚ to 75˚F/19˚ to 23˚C). Also set the eggs on the counter.

Make the Batter

1) In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.

2) In the bowl of a food processor, process the almond flour, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well blended, about 1 minute.

3) Add the butter pieces and pulse until the dough gathers around the blade, about 1 minute.

4) Add the egg mixture and process until blended, about 20 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The batter will be very thick.

5) Drop the batter in large blobs over the peaches and with a small offset spatula, carefully spread it evenly.

Bake the Cake

6) Set the cake pan on the baking stone and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed. An instant-read thermometer should read about 208°F/98˚C.

Unmold, Cool and Serve the Cake

6) Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Run a metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the cake, pressing firmly against the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving plate and cool completely.