It must look like I am OD’ing on sugar right now because this is my third sweet and baked recipe in a row, but what can I say? I had these perfectly ripe peaches sitting in my pantry, and I needed to do something about them before they started to spoil. Since I’m not a big fan of eating fruit on its own, I just had to bake them into something delicous AND pretty: like a Peach Upside-Down Cake, a classic from America’s south.
This cake is really, really simple to make and although it does have a fair amount of sugar, it’s fairly low in fat. Plus all that fruit (it also has applesauce in it) makes it, I daresay, not unhealthy.
One of the great joys of eating this cake are the contrasting textures created by the gooey caramel at the bottom of the pan, the smooth, silky peaches, and the tender cake. Like a lot of dishes originating from the south, this one screams classic comfort food. At the same time it’s beautiful enough to show off with.
Upside-down cakes are traditionally made in cast-iron skillets, so if you have a 9-inch skillet, use it. If not, use an 8- or 9-inch cake pan.
2 tbsp vegan butter
1/2 cup sugar
Melt the butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. If using a cake pan, place the vegan butter in the pan and place it inside a preheated 350-degree oven until the butter melts.
Tilt the skillet or pan so that the butter coats the sides.
Sprinkle the sugar to evenly cover the bottom of the pan.
Arrange the peaches in a decorative pattern at the bottom of the skillet or pan. If you’re not a patient person or like a more freestyle look, you can just scatter them around in an even, single layer.
Measure out 1/2 cup of soymilk, add 1 tsp balsamic vinegar to it, and set aside to curdle, at least 5 minutes.
Whisk together to mix and aerate:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon powder
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
In a smaller bowl, mix together:
2 tbsp canola oil
4 tbsp applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp of the curdled soymilk
Add this to the flour mixture, mixing until just blended with a hand-held electric mixer or a whisk.
Add 1/2 cup of applesauce to the remaining curdled soymilk, mix, and then add to the batter in three batches, mixing well after each addition and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Pour the batter evenly to cover the peach slices.
Place in the preheated 350-degree oven and bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove the skillet or pan and tilt it on all sides to loosen the cake. Be sure to use oven mitts because the skillet is screaming hot!
Cool for 2-3 minutes before unmolding.
To unmold, place a serving platter, face-down, on the skillet or pan. Make sure you have your oven mitts on and check again by tilting the pan that the cake has loosened from the sides of the skillet. If not, run a knife along the edge.
Now turn the skillet upside-down in a quick motion and tap slighly if needed to loosen the cake. Carefully lift up the skillet.
Spoon any of the gooey, caramel-y juices remaining in the skillet on top of the cake, and enjoy warm or at room temperature.
For another fruity, pretty dessert, cook up my Tarte Tatin.