This may not come as a surprise to you, but the Food Section is my favorite section of the L.A. Times. Now, I'm not much of a newspaper person. I have a thing....against grey fingertips. It even bugs me when I buy a new paperback book and my fingertips get smudges on them.
But that's not really important, is it? What's important are the recipes in the Food Section...and the articles about food trends and cultural cuisines, etc etc. A while back there was an article (followed by a few recipes of course) on upside-down cakes. Until now, I've only been familiar with the legendary Pineapple Upside-Down Cake that probably adorned every dinning room table at some point in the 70's, with the cute little maraschino cherries in the center of each pineapple rings (that is if
I'm only sharing this with you because I'm pretty sure most of you...if not all of you can relate...
Timer's only work when you turn them on. NOT when you set them for 20 minutes only to turn them off after said 20 minutes and then decide that the food in the oven isn't quite ready and needs another few minutes but you fail to turn the timer back on. I mean...why bother, right? It's only a few minutes. Ya, right....25 minutes later you smell something that almost smells good...but you can't figure out why because dinner has already been cooked and served. Then the light goes on and you remember...
OMG!!! I have BREAD IN THE OVEN!
And now my little white loaf of artisan bread looks suspiciously like pumpernickel.
And is really super crunchy on the outside.
Dessert....lets get back to this lovely dessert. And quick. Because I think technically, peach season is over but there seems to be an abundance of them in the markets still...and at good prices too.
Peach Upside-Down Rum Cake
2 lbs of peeled peaches
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
9 tablespoons butter at room temperature, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup dark rum
To begin with, lets make it easy to peel them peaches by blanching 'em first. Get out a big pot of water and heat it to a boil on the stove. While you're waiting for that, get a big bowl out and fill it with water and ice cubes. Once the water boils, put the peaches in the boiling water for 40 - 60 seconds, depending on how ripe they are (the less ripe, the longer the boil). Remove the peaches and immediately put them in the ice water to stop the heat from cooking them further. This is called blanching.
Drain and dry the peaches. Make a criss-cross cut on the bottom of the peach and peel the skin off with your fingers or a pairing knife....the skin at this point should peel away nice and easy.
Cut the peaches into 1/2" slices and place them in a medium sized bowl. Drizzle with the lemon juice and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 350' F.
In a large 10" oven proof skillet (cast iron is recommended) melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until smooth then stir in the honey.
Lower the heat and add the peaches. Stir until the peaches are a little soft and glossy. This should take about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Spread the peaches around so that you have an even layer up to the sides of the pan.
In a medium sized bowl sift together your flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter and the white sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at time, mixing in between. Then add the honey and beat until well combined.
Working in batches, alternately add the flour mixture and the rum to the butter mixture, starting with the flour mixture, stirring in between until just combined. Continue back and forth between the flour mixture and the rum until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Carefully spoon the batter onto the peaches in the skillet. Gently smooth it out as close to the sides of the pan as you can.
No need to get too OCD on this....it will rise and spread and all will be well in the end.
Bake in the 350'F preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out nice and clean.
Allow to cool in the skillet for about 10 minutes. Then....place a large plate, upside down over the skillet and veeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrry carefully flip the pan over.
Serve at room temperature
This was so fun to make and easy, aside from the messy peeling and slicing of the peaches. I don't think canned peaches would work as nicely as they might get a little on the mushy side. If you're not a rum fan, (and there is a nice strong rum flavor in the cake) then replace it with milk or even buttermilk. The cake isn't overly sweet and tastes incredible with a big ole scoop of vanilla ice cream.