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Archive for August 27th, 2007

What to Do with Peaches

Monday, August 27th, 2007

I got peaches Saturday and couldn’t stand to waste them. If I eat them fresh, I get hives. Brian can eat them, and I want him to do it just on my behalf… but this is a LOT of peaches even for someone like Brian who often eats a few pieces of fruit a day.

I had to go back in my mind for things I used to do with fresh peaches. They have always been my favorite fruit, assuming they were grown so close to home and grown on the tree until so ripe that they can get slightly squished on the way home. I love them sliced on oatmeal with a tiny bit of dark brown sugar. What else?

I really wanted to think of cooked peach goodies. I know folks make peach butter but that doesn’t excite me like baked goods can. Then I remembered! I used to make upside-down-gingerbread with peaches.

A Formula for Upside-Down Peach/Gingerbread Cake

This is not really a recipe, you need your own gingerbread batter. Here is how to change ordinary gingerbread into a fruited feast!

Find any gingerbread recipe that fits a square or round pan, basically enough for one layer of a two-layer cake. (For gluten-free friends, try substituting Arrowhead Mills or Hodgson Mills brand buckwheat flour for wheat flour, and my experience is that it will work out in a cake-like recipe, just fine.)

Cut relatively thin slices of peach, the cake does not need all the fruit from one large peach so enjoy the leftovers fresh right there. Don’t bother peeling the fruit, as it is unnoticeable after baking.

Then put the thin slices on towels and dry out the fruit, top and bottom, so that it’s not running with juice. I like white woven dish towels with smooth texture, but even paper toweling can work. If you skip this, the bottom layer of the cake batter will stay like batter after baking.

Oil or grease your pan. If you use a stick of butter or margarine and smear it rather generously on the bottom, this will interact with the brown sugar and make a sort of caramel which is lovely and much better than sprayed-on oil. (Oil the sides, too, because you will turn the cake out of the pan after baking.)

Arrange slices of peach, and sprinkle with dark brown sugar if you have it, or maple sugar (not syrup), or any other sugar. Again, it is there to make a bit of a caramel next to the peaches.

Pour the batter on the fruit and sugar, distribute properly. Bake as directed (it may take an extra 5 minutes with the extra moisture on the bottom. Cool a short while, 5-10 minutes until it’s more firm but not totally cool. Place a cake plate on top of baking pan and invert. Hope that the baking luck is with you and it stays together well. It’s Soooooooooo Good!