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Saturday, August 13, 2011

PEACH PECAN UPSIDE DOWN CAKE



I had two large ripe peaches, a hankerin' to bake a cake, and a two hour pocket of time.  I thought about a peach cobbler...a smallish one...and then I thought...hmmm, how about a peach upside down cake?  I could use the same basic recipe as the fresh pineapple upside down cake.  So, with that in mind, I got to work!  As usual, I changed up a few things.  I was getting out the brown sugar and saw some beautiful pecan halves my hubby had brought from Central Market in Austin.  Hmmm, peaches and pecans...sounds good.  I pulled up the recipe for the pineapple upside down cake and remembered that it had risen above the edge of the pan and formed a lip...I decided to adjust the amount of baking powder in hopes of that not happening again.  I also adjusted the amount of cake flour out of necessity - I only had about 1/2 cup left!  That's the problem with box containers...I don't always see when my ingredients are low.  Oh well, I hope it's okay.  I don't think it will really make a great difference - maybe the lightest change in density.

I read a great blog post from Paula Deen about the differences in flour.  I'll link that here in case you are interested. 

Anywhere - here goes!

PEACH PECAN UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Adapted from recipes on MarthaStewart.com and JoyofBaking.com


TOPPING:
The toppings in the pan - ready for batter





Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks (when I do it again, I will make this 6 tbsp)
1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar (when I do it again, I will make this 3/4 cup)
2 large freestone peaches, peeled, halved, and evenly sliced
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place rack in middle position.
Prepare 9 inch round cake pan by spraying with non-stick baking spray. I use Baker's Joy. (or you can lightly butter and flour cake pan instead).

Peel, halve, and remove stone from peaches.  Slice each half in equal-thickness slices.  Pat of excess juice with a paper towel.
2 large peaches were perfect for this cake

Place the butter and brown sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat and stir until butter and sugar are melted together.
brown sugar and cubed butter in the pan

Stop stirring and allow to cook just until bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan - you can swirl, but don't stir. Remove from heat when you see bubbles forming around edge.
Cook just until bubbling around edges


Pour topping into pan and shake until evenly distributed.
Pat peaches dry and place evenly on top of the butter/sugar mixture.
Place pecan halves among the peach slices - inside up.
Place the cinnamon in your palm and pinch and sprinkle it lightly as fairy dust over the peaches and pecans.
The last addition is a sprinkling of cinnamon


YELLOW BUTTER CAKE:

Ingredients:

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter - softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs - room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste
2/3 cup milk - room temperature

Method:

In a separate bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
The dry goods

In bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy (takes about 3 or 4 minutes).
creamed butter and white sugar

Add eggs 1 at a time until each is incorporated.
Adding the eggs and vanilla bean paste

Add vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste and mix until incorporated.
Used both vanilla bean paste and a bit of vanilla extract - perfecto!
Eggs and vanillas beautifully incorporated into butter and sugar

With stand mixer on low, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and allow to incorporate.
Add 1/2 of the milk and mix to incorporate.
Alternate dry goods with milk - ending with dry

Add 1/2 of the remaining dry ingredients - mix to incorporate
Add the remaining milk and mix to incorporate.
Add the last of the flour and mix to incorporate.
Scrape down the bowl and the batter is ready!


Spoon batter carefully over topping and smooth with an offset spatula. (I decided to leave out about 1 cup of batter...I don't know if the peaches were thicker or what, but the batter seemed to come up too high on the 9 inch pan - I didn't want overflow)
Place cake pan on an edged cookie sheet in case topping bubbles up over the side (a common problem with upside down cakes - and this one did - hence my recommendation to reduce the volume of the topping in the future)
In the oven, ready to go

Bake 45-55 minutes (when tester comes out clean - be sure not to stick it into the peach stuff at the bottom).
Good call on holding back some of the batter...this was perfect

Allow cake to cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the outside edges to ensure a good release. Turn cake onto serving platter.   If any peach pieces get stuck, carefully release them with a spoon and place them back into their "spots". Be careful of the hot topping.

Ahh, what a pretty cake - turned out on a cake round and cooling.
I did have to clean off some excess topping that dripped overboard.


I pulled this cake, allowed it to cool as long as I could, hopped in the car, fought the traffic jam to the island on one of the last "summer" week-ends for Texas families (most schools start on August 22nd) and landed at Paragraphs on Padre Blvd. with only 15 minutes to spare.  You see, the cake's destination was a meet and greet book signing for David Harry's new book, The Padre Predator.  Due to a scheduling snafu I had two things scheduled simultaneously...but I sure didn't want to miss that book signing.  When I asked the teen if he was going to eat any of this cake...and he said no (he doesn't like pecans nor peaches)...I thought "David and Mary - they like pecans - this cake is for them!" and I was glad that I just made it. 

We all ended up eating the cake...there was only one lonely slice when I left.  Maybe David will get to have it for breakfast :-)  The cake was delicious - the crumb was moist and buttery and the topping was sweetly caramel with just the barest hint of cinnamon.  I think all the "tweaks" were just right.  Hope you give it a try and enjoy it!



Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

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3 comments:

  1. I already saved this recipe for a future reference. Delicious cake. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks delicious!! I'm gonna have to try to make this for sure now! thanks for the lovely post!

    ReplyDelete

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