I love discovering new cookbooks. I had been hearing about Dorie Greenspan’s Baking ~ From my home to yours for awhile. Typically, when I want to try out a new cookbook, I check it out from the library. If I bought every cookbook that crossed my path my shelves would be totally bulging at the seams. Besides, my hubby is already of the opinion that I have too many cookbooks (not possible….I know!). So I checked out Baking from the library and immediately started thumbing through it. Well actually, I waited until I was in the car…with all three kids strapped in and waiting…um…patiently. I instantly knew that this book would have to be a part of my cookbook collection. What a great compilation of recipes! Peanut Butter Torte, Double-Crusted Blueberry Pie, Fresh Orange Cream Tart…I could go on and on, and I probably will, but let me start with this: Nectarine Upside-Downer. I adapted this recipe from Dorie’s Cranberry Upside-Downer (which looks fantastic as well). I had nectarines though so that is what I used. Oh my. Was this ever good. So good in fact, that I proceeded to eat almost the entire cake, by myself…in one day. I can’t believe I just admitted that. This wasn’t the best looking dessert that I’ve ever made but it had amazing flavor. The texture was almost a cross between a cake and a pudding and the sweet nectarines complimented this perfectly. I did share one small piece with my four-year-old daughter who declared it to be “the best thing you’ve ever made!”. Then again, she says that about almost everything I bake. She’s supportive like that.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large nectarines (or peaches) pitted and sliced
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of the sugar and cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. Pour this over the bottom of a 8 x 2 inch round cake pan. Arrange sliced nectarines on top of sugar mixture. Set aside.
Using a hand mixture beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue until the mixture is pale and creamy. Beat for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Pour in the vanilla.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter. Mix in the milk and then the remaining dry ingredients. Spoon the batter over the nectarines and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and run a blunt knife between the sides of the sides of the pan and the cake. Turn the cake out onto a serving platter.