I love the summer and everything associated with it. Barbecues, swimming, camp for the girls and a family trip for all of us – it doesn’t get better than that.
But there’s one great thing about the end of summer, and that’s the beginning of fall. As much as I love the fresh fruits and vegetables that I buy all summer, I love the flavours of autumn at least as much. Apples, pears, pumpkins and squash are just the beginning.
But how do you make the seasonal transition? Do you go from Raspberry Buttermilk Cake one day to Apple Pear Cherry Crisp the next? You could – and I’d never argue with that – but if you’re looking for a more gentle transition, try this recipe for Upside Down Peach Gingerbread. It sounds like a bit of a mismatch; gingerbread is perfect for fall and winter, while peaches are the epitome of summer. But please don’t let that prejudice you against it. I can’t tell you how awesome this dessert is, or how often I went back for just another quarter-inch slice. The peaches and ginger played perfectly off each other, like the beautiful September day that has August’s bright sun and October’s cool, clear air.
Upside Down Peach Gingerbread
(from King Arthur Flour website)
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
3 cups peeled, pitted, sliced fresh peaches
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" square cake pan.
To make the topping: Melt the butter with the sugar and water, until butter is melted. Spread into the prepared pan. Top with the peaches, placing the slices side by side in a neat single layer.
To make the cake: Beat the butter, brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt together until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. Beat in the molasses. Gently stir in both flours, then the buttermilk or yogurt. Spoon the batter (it will be thick) into the prepared pan, atop the peaches. Gently spread it to reach the edges of the pan. Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove it from the oven, wait 1 minute, then invert it onto a rack. Lift the pan off, and place any peaches that remain in the pan back atop the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature, with ice cream, whipped cream, or just as it is.