IMPEACH UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE WITH MAPLE AND SLIVERED ALMONDS
16-ounces sliced frozen peaches, preferably organic, thawed, juice reserved
1/3 cup pitted prunes, halved, or dried unsweetened cherries
cooking spray or oil
1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar (I use turbinado)
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or 1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia
- approximately 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Drain the juice from the thawed peaches into a small saucepan. Add the dried prunes or cherrie, bring to a boil, and turn off heat, allowing dried fruit to soak in peach juice for a few minutes while you prepare the delicious goo that makes the topping.
- Spray a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with cooking spray or oil. Pour in melted butter. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter, patting it down. Drizzle the maple syrup over the sugar.
- Drain the dried fruit, reserving the juice in measuring cup.
- Arrange the thawed peach slices and the soaked dried fruit in an attractive concentric pattern in the brown-sugar-butter-maple goo in the bottom of the skillet, bearing in mind that, when reversed, this will be the top of the cake. Set aside while you make the cake batter.
- Place butter, and sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in egg and extract.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Back at the measuring cup into which you drained the peach juice, add enough buttermilk to equal 1/2 cup liquid total. Add flour mixture and buttermilk-peach liquid alternately to butter mixture, beating at low speed or by hand until just combined.
- Spoon batter on top of the fruit. There should be barely enough to cover the fruit. Sprinkle the cake with the optional almonds (which will be on the bottom of the cake once it is reverse.
- Bake 45 minutes, until top is golden brown and the sides are bubbly.
- Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes, and invert onto a serving plate. Makes 8 servings; 6 if you want more generous slices (and you might).