We have been galavanting most of the entire month of July. I have to admit we are pretty thrilled to be centered at home for a while. To kick off staying home, I thought I’d share a new favorite recipe for a Peach Bourbon Upside Down Cake which was created from our favorite upside down pineapple cake. We had friends coming to dinner a few weeks back, and nothing to serve for dessert until I noticed a few neglected peaches. Lucky for us, as I whipped up what has become a favorite recipe.
Let’s talk peaches for a bit, shall we? Last spring and summer, I kept a secret as I spent 6 months getting to know Andy Mariani, stone-fruit farmer extraordinaire of Andy’s Orchard. What prompted all these secrets? Well, I was thrilled when Spenser Magazine reached out to me to write and photograph a story about Andy. What provoked the story was the rare green gage plum that he grows in the orchard.
After spending precious moments walking in Andy’s footsteps, learning how amazing stone-fruit is grown, I also learned that pretty much all of the fruit that comes from his orchard is outstanding. Not to take away from the Green Gage, as it was one of the most amazing pieces of fruit I have ever experienced, but we are talking peaches today. I enjoy a good peach, but never really experienced the perfect one until Andy handed me a sun-kissed Baby Crawford one early morning. The piece of fruit was the size of my palm, slightly yellowish orange, with a blush like a baby’s cheek it was warm, ripe and ready to be eaten. I took a nibble, juices running down my chin, I was completely smitten. The flavor and the scent were intoxicating, not like any peach I have ever experienced before. What makes Andy’s stone-fruit so special, well, you need to read the story to learn more about this wonderful man, and the gem of an orchard his calls home (there are 4 great recipes as well).
Summer Fest this week is about peaches. I have a few favorite stand-by peach recipes that I use when I am not going to enjoy them pure; but, decided after creating this outstanding upside down peach bourbon cake that I would save it until now. For this recipe, I used peaches that were ripe but still a little firm as hold up better during baking. As well I used Bourbon, but feel free to use milk if Bourbon isn’t your thing. I made the recipe both ways, and it came out perfectly. The cake is best served warm so be sure not to wait until the next day to devour. You will want the caramelized sauce to ooze over every bite.
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** July 2019 – I have made an update to this recipe (added a bit of heavy cream) as well as I have baked in three different sized pans; baking times listed below.
Upside Down Peach Bourbon Cake
3 medium peaches, cut into medium slices
1 (4 ounces) stick unsalted butter
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (4 ounces) stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup bourbon or whole milk
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter bottom and sides of a cake pan (sizes listed below).
Lay the peach slices over the bottom of the baking pan.
Melt 1 stick of butter in a saucepan.
Add brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring often for about 10 minutes.
Add the cream and stir until mixed well; about 1 – 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Pour over the peaches.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft, then add the granulated sugar.
Mix until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the bourbon along with the vanilla, and mix for 1 minute.
Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until blended.
Add remaining flour mixture, mixing just until blended.
The batter may appear slightly curdled, this is okay.
Spoon batter over the peach slices spread evenly.
Bake cake in the middle of oven until golden and a tester (I use the tip of a very sharp knife or a toothpick) comes out clean. Times for different sized pans below – I tend to rely on the tester approach as all ovens are different.
Let cake stand in pan for 15 minutes.
Invert a plate over the pan and invert cake onto the plate.
7-inch cake pan – 45 – 55 minutes
8-inch cake pan – 30 – 45 minutes
9-inch cake pan – 25 – 35 minutes