I couldn’t resist and ended up buying 4 luscious looking nectarines from the local farm a few days ago. Don’t they look simply irresistible?? I somehow didn’t feel like eating them fresh and wanted to make something out of them. Pie or cake, anything to incorporate some of these lovely nectarines I got from the farm.
I found a few recipes online and decided to try an upside down cake recipe by David Lebovitz. Upside down cake usually has chopped / sliced fruits (i.e. pineapples, pears, peaches, cherries, etc) which are placed at the bottom of the pan before the batter is poured in. This will create a decorative topping once the cake is inverted and eaten upside down!
The cake turned out delicious and I was able to taste 3 distinctive flavors. The first was the tartness of the nectarine, followed by the gooey sweetness from the caramel then the buttery flavor of the cake. It is best to have the same fruit to cake height ratio. Instead of using nectarines, David also suggest using plums, cherries, cranberries, apricots, etc.
Here’s the upside down cake by David Lebovitz.
NECTARINE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE RECIPE
Fruit Layer Ingredients:
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed
- 3-4 Nectarines, Thickly Sliced
Cake Layer Ingredients:
- 8 Tbsp Butter
- 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Large Eggs @ Room Temperature
- 1-1/2 Cups Flour
- 1-1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Cup Whole Milk @ Room Temperature
Melt the 3 tbsp of butter in a 10” cast iron skillet, or cake pan. Add the brown sugar and cook while stirring, until the sugar is melted and begins to bubble. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, arrange the fruit in a pinwheel design, add berries (to fill gaps) if desired. Set aside.Preheat oven to 350F. Beat the 8 tbsp of butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla, then eggs, one at a time and beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients. Do not overmix; just stir until the flour is barely incorporated into the batter.
Spread the batter over the fruit, then bake for 45 minutes to one hour (depending on the size of the pan, and the thickness of the batter.) The cake is ready when it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and the center feels just set.
Remove from oven, let cool about 20 minutes, then place a cake plate on top, and wearing oven mitts, flip the cake out on to the plate, taking care, as there may be some hot caramel that might escape.
Serve this cake warm, perhaps with a scoop of vanilla ice cream? =)
June’s Notes: I cut my nectarines to slightly over 1/2 inch thick and used only about 2 nectarines (they were quite large). However, I think using 3 nectarines would have been better since the fruits will shrink after baking. I would also suggest using firm nectarines (or other fruits) as the fruit and cake will hold up better. You will not get over mushy fruit on the top!
I made a mini upside down cake in a small ramekin I have. It turned out a little dry (coz the cake was a lil’ sky high?), and lacked of nectarines. I wonder if I overbaked it either, since it was a just a small dish and I had it baking for about 40 minutes. Never the less, it looked beautiful and perfect for individual servings!
My actual nectarine upside down cake on the other hand turned out perfect. I made my upside down cake in a glass pie dish (9.5” x 1.5”) as I do not have a cast iron skillet and did not want to use my baking pan. I made the caramel sauce in a saucepan, then poured it in my glass baking dish and followed the rest of the recipe accordingly. I baked the cake for about 55-60 minutesPlease also note that the cake batter is a little on the thick side. That is ok, as you do have a layer of liquid and fruits on the layer of the pan. Once the cake is inverted, juices/liquid will flow into the cake!