Sep 12, 2010

Peach Upside-Down Cake (Free Choice)

I could have taken this week off, but I was in a baking kind of mood, (at least I was before I got sick), so I decided to do a variation of a cake I'd already done. The apple upside-down cake became a peach upside-down cake, and the results were superb in this end-of-the-summer, abundant-peach season.
Last October 19, when I posted the results of the apple-walnut upside-down cake, I lamented that peach season was over so I'd have to wait until next year. Am I glad that I remembered!
I wouldn't like to do any comparing of the virtues of peach and apple upside-down cake, because, well, that would be comparing apples and peaches. The cake part is exactly the same, so if you want to see what's involved, you can just click on that post.
There are a couple of things about the peaches that I want to point out. First, I nearly scoffed at and ignored Rose's instructions on how to peel a peach. Peaches aren't hard to peel, I said to myself. They don't need any help. But, being the dutiful girl that I am, I went ahead and poured boiling water on the peaches,
let them steep for one minute, and then moved them into another bowl of ice water.




















Look how that peach peel comes off with the merest whisper of encouragement.
Now I suppose you could argue over whether it's worth getting two pans dirty for such ease of peeling, and I'll admit I wouldn't do it every time I peel a peach, but for making a pie (or an upside-down cake, I'm a convert).
There was just one other major difference between the two cakes. I had the almonds ready to strew over the peach cake, but I just couldn't bring myself to sully their peachiness. And, believe me, I am not in the camp that thinks of nuts as a sullying agent. In fact, there's almost nothing that can't be improved by nuts--except maybe this lovely peach upside-down cake.

TASTING PANEL:
Erika: "I love this cake, and I'm having a second piece. It's perfect. The cake isn't too heavy, and the peaches taste really fresh."
Anna: "It's really good. I think it's better with peaches than it would be with apples."
Jim: "Delicious. I really like the cake. The whipped cream is a nice addition, but it doesn't need it."
Karen: "The texture is good. It's very moist, but not too heavy."

17 comments:

Katya said...

Beautiful peach pictures, Marie (Jim?). I'm about to make Dorie Greenspan's peach upside-down cake, and just pulled the Tweed Angel Food out of the oven.

evil cake lady said...

you can't go wrong with a good upside-down cake, and this one looks amazing. i love the blue plate too!

Vicki said...

I remember this cake quite well. The apple version was my first HCB cake and then Trader Joe's had fantastic peaches taunting me so I made this version. It's a stunning recipe. Now is the perfect time of year to make it.

Am I remembering correctly that we already made the Torta de las Tres Leches with guest host Hanaa so that one can be crossed off the list?

Jenn said...

Vicki, yes I think we did make Torta de las Tres Leches w/ Hanaa. That was last year.

Beautiful cake Marie. I didn't expect to see a cake post, seeing that you were sick and all. I hope you are feeling better!

evil cake lady said...

Vicki, yes, the milky cake AND the banana refrigerator cake with the etc etc frosting! TWO down!!

*high fives the group*

Marie said...

Katya,
Aaargh! Don't remind me of the chocolate tweed (failed) angel food cake! Yes, Jim gets credit for the photos.

ECL, it finally occurred to me that I should start collecting pretty cake plates.

Vicki, Jenn, and ECL,
Yes!! we might just make it after all!

faithy, the baker said...

i was suppose to start baking this week but things got in the way..now i have to bake in Oct. Sorry for the absence. :p

Your cake looks wonderful..I always feel the pinch when i have to bake with fruits like peaches, plum, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries..etc cos i feel that since they are so expensive to begin with, they are best eaten when fresh...LOL!

doughadear said...

Marie,
I love the look of this cake and I can just imagine its deliciousness! Our peach season is far to short if you ask me.

Jenn said...

Marie, what's gonna happen once you've baked all the cakes in the book? Seeing that you're 21 cakes ahead of us all. Will you still be our fearless leader then? Or are we left on our own vices? Who's gonna keep us in line then?

I am not freaking out here by any means :). These thoughts came along after reading ECL's intro of her Marble Velvet Cake haha!

Shandy said...

Hello! Your peach upside down cake looks positively wonderful! Your photos are gorgeous and look as if I could reach in with a fork and take a bite =).

Now, the apology =(. I looked around but obviously not hard enough, to see a list for what we could bake for the free choice. Now I see it . . . yeesh. I baked the Bostini and would like to say the dessert is so wonderful that I can not wait for someone to pick it so I can bake it again! Hugs, and again I am sorry, Shandy

Monica said...

Oh boy, how did you do this recovering from a cold, because I came back with a nasty from my weekend in Atlanta and boy oh boy, I cannot find the energy to do a thing, specially bake.. and we have the Apple Charlotte coming up - YIKES!

Andrea said...

Your cake looks delicious! I would love to join the group if you're still accepting members. My blog is called A Little Cake Won't Hurt (http://alittlecakewonthurt.blogspot.com/).

Mendy said...

ב''ה

Looks great Marie! It looks better than the apple version.

My wife was guest blogger this week. Check it out.

:)

ButterYum said...

I hope you're feeling better Marie.

What a great cake to end the summer on - it looks fabulous!!

I'm glad I was able to join this week... I finally perfected the Designer Baby Grands. I hope you'll check them out.

:)
ButterYum

Hanaâ said...

I hope you're feeling better, Marie. I see lots of people at work sniffling so I guess it's just that time of year again...

I thought the Apple Upside Down cake looked great, but this looks even better! Looks like the cake released nicely from the pan and all. Beautiful! I made the Spice Cake for Free Choice so I could take it to the Bake Sale we're having at work today (--> flood victims in Pakistan). Hopefully I'll get to post my cake tonight.

Jen said...

Hey Marie, your cake looks delicious! Fresh peaches are almost impossible to get where I am...hope you're feeling better

Can anyone tell me why I can't seem to post any comments except on Jennifer's and Marie's? Thanks

marie said...

Faithy,
Come back, little Faithy!

Oriana,
Peaches are like tomatoes--they're only worth buying fresh and in-season. You can buy something called "peaches" in January, but they're not good eating. Well, that's my opinion anyway.

Jenn,
That's why we do the free choices--so I won't be so far ahead and we'll all finish at the same time. :-)

Shandy,
No worries. You're not the first to want to try out that bostini ahead of schedule! I'm glad you liked it so much--when we get to it, you can either make it again or try something new.

Monica,
I made it when I was healthy, planning to get a head start on the apple charlotte. No such luck. Yikes!

Andrea,
We've got room for a few more, and you're welcome to j oin us. Why don't you just decide what cake you want to be your first (are you willing to take on the apple caramel charlotte??). When you've made the cake and have posted it, just let me know, and I'll add you to the list of Heavenly Bakers.

Mendy,
Thanks. I have met the delightful Mrs. Mendy through the magic of the blogosphere.

ButterYum,
Yes, it definitely has that end of summer feel. Congrats on the Baby Grands!

Hanaa,
A few peach slices stuck to the pan, but they were tucked back into the pattern and no one was the wiser.
How great that you're able to use your baking skills to raise money for the flood victims!

Jen,
Finally feeling better--thanks. I ihave no idea why you can't post comments on other blogs--although I have noticed that a few of the blogs have kind of complicated systems. Anybody have any ideas for Jen?