Beth Lipton, food director at sister brand Health magazine, says peaches are "the quintessential summer fruit, and they represent the season perfectly — they're sweet and fragrant and luscious, just like summer itself." So when Short Stack cookbooks wanted her to pick something super seasonal for a summer edition, she knew just wanted she wanted to do. Here, find her summer twist on a classic dessert: Peach Upside-Down Cake. Pick up Peaches on shortstackeditions.com for just $14.
PEACH UPSIDE-DOWN CAKEServes 8
Take a tarte Tatin, mate it with a buttery cake and the resulting love child is this fancy-looking but simple dessert. The strong butter flavor and a little hint of ginger are a delicious setting for the slightly boozy, very brown sugary sautéed peaches. Except for a moment when you have to be a bit careful spreading the batter over the cooked peaches, this cake is ridiculously simple to make, but the result is very pretty. I think the cake tastes best warm, but it’s good the next day, too. Don’t forget the ice cream or freshly whipped cream.
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided, plus more for the pan1¼ cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon ground ginger½ teaspoon baking powder¼ teaspoon baking soda¼ teaspoon plus a pinch salt¾ cup packed dark brown sugar2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided3 tablespoons bourbon2 to 3 medium-ripe peaches (8 to 12 ounces)—peeled, pitted and sliced¾ cup granulated sugar2 large eggs, at room temperature½ cup buttermilk, at room temperatureIce cream or whipped cream, for serving
PreparationPlace a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Butter a 9-inch-round cake pan. In a bowl, combine the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk until well mixed and set aside.
Cut 4 tablespoons of butter into slices and place in a large skillet. Add the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, bourbon and a pinch of salt and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the mixture is well combined. Add the peach slices and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften and their liquid thickens, 7 to 9 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the peach slices and arrange them in circles in the bottom of the cake pan, beginning on the outside and moving into the middle of the pan, overlapping if necessary (you may not use all of the slices; save any extras for snacking or another use). Pour the remaining juices from the skillet over the peaches, taking care not to move them.
In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter with the granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk and remaining teaspoon of vanilla, then the remaining flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
Using an offset spatula, gently spread the batter over the peaches, taking care not to move them too much. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cake is golden and bounces back when lightly pressed in the center. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the outer edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a serving dish. If any peach slices are stuck in the baking pan, carefully place them on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream.