This summery version of a pineapple upside-down cake is served with a decadent caramel sauce; the moist peach cake is also nice plain. Removing the peach skin is easiest with a vegetable peeler.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
6 ripe freestone peaches—peeled, halved lengthwise and pitted
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.
In a large ovenproof skillet, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar over low heat. Arrange the peach halves in the skillet, cut side up. Cover with foil and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the peaches are tender and the sauce is syrupy. Transfer the peaches to the prepared cake pan, cut side up. Spoon the brown sugar sauce over the fruit and let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 350°.
In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and lime zest. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in half of the dry ingredients. Fold in the half-and-half and then fold in the remaining dry ingredients. Spoon the batter over the peaches in the cake pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature, then run a knife around the side and invert the cake onto a plate. Cut into wedges and serve with the Creamy Caramel Sauce.
The unmolded cake can stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours before serving.
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