Oh hello 2013. Welcome. May we have some great times together!
Melbourne summer gets unbearably hot. Summer is only my friend when I’m down at the beach. All other times, I prefer to not move too much and stay cool on my couch with lots of ice-cold drinks and some TV marathon. Currently I’m hiding from the 38C (100F) heat and hooked on Sons of Anarchy – is Jax ever going to leave Samcro?!!
Back to the beach…I spent Christmas camping by the beach with the hubby. Made some amateur boo-boos, like forgetting to pack warm gear (it gets cold at night!), forgetting to apply sun screen when going for a walk by the beach (yup, peeling like a dried up shrimp right now) and leaving our foldable table behind in the apartment. I know. Rookie mistakes. It’s just been too long since we last camped. It just means we need another attempt at this.
The only other good thing about summer is stoned fruits. It’s time for peaches, nectarines, cherries, berries and mangoes. I’m chomping down on yet another nectarine as I’m writing this. Juicy!
What better way to use up the abundance of fruit than to bake them in delicious ways. Such as this nectarine upside-down cake. It’s an adapted recipe from David Lebovitz. Great for any type of stoned fruit really – I happened to have a few over-ripe nectarines, but this works for peaches, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and more. Go experiment!
I loved the caramel oozing all over the nectarines, the cake part was also light and not overly sweet – which is great when you have enough caramel to sweeten the deal. Eat while still warm, or warm up for 20 seconds in the microwave…great on its own or with ice cream.
NECTARINE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Adapted from David Lebovitz
I used a 9″ square pan, but David L used a 10″ skillet / cake pan. Do not use a springform pan unless you want to scrape hardened caramel from the bottom of your oven!
3 tbsp butter (45g), salted or unsalted
3/4 cup packed (135g) light brown sugar
5 – 6 nectarines (or enough cut fruit to layer the bottom of your pan)
8 tbsp (115g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (125ml) whole milk, at room temperature
1. Melt the 3 tbsp (45g) of butter in a cake pan or skillet. Add the brown sugar and cook while stirring, until the sugar is melted and begins to bubble. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Once cool, arrange the fruit in a tight, single layer. Set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 350F. (190C)
4. Beat the 8 tbsp (115g) of butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, beat until smooth.
5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
6. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients. Do not overmix: stir just until the flour is barely incorporated into the batter.
7. Spread the batter over the fruit, then bake for 45 minutes to one hour (depending on the size of the pan, and the thickness of the batter.) The cake is ready when it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and the center feels just set.
8. Remove from oven, let cool about 20 minutes, then place a cake plate on top, flip the cake out on to the plate, taking care, as there may be some hot caramel that might escape.
Best served warm.