Thursday, August 13, 2009

Peach Cake Tatin

Peaches just jumped into my cart as I was grocery shopping earlier in the week. After staring at them for a few days, I finally decided I should bake with them. After asking around for recipes, I couldn't stop staring at this Peach Cake Tatin.

I decided to peel the peaches first, since the last time I cooked peaches the skin was rubbery and didn't cut well. I blanched them for about 30 seconds in boiling water, then popped them into a ice water bath to cool. I scored a shallow X at the bottom, and the skin peeled right off. I had fairly large peaches and cut each peach into 12 slices. I only used 18 slices for the cake, and nibbled on the rest while baking.

As far as the caramel, I'm a slow learner and got distracted while cooking and started taking pictures of the peaches.

And then noticed the smell of burning. Oops. I did that the last time I made caramel too. You'd think I'd learn. Batch #2 turned out well, and I was fascinated watching it bubble furiously when poured over the peaches.

When I first put the peaches in the pan, I was positive it would overflow and make a giant mess. So I put the pan on a cookie sheet to prevent any spillage in the oven. As usual, when I anticipate problems, they never happen. The cake poofed a little, but didn't spill over. To make up for it though, I made a grand mess inverting the cake onto a plate.

The cake was warm and gooey and rich. The edges had just a little crunch to them, which I loved. The fresh peaches had a slight tartness to them that I really liked with the sweet, dense, caramely cake. It was actually a little too sweet for me, but half of the cake still disappeared in quick order. Between 2 people. Nom, nom!

Peach Cake Tatin

Source:, adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot in Paris

* 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish
* 2-3 large fresh peaches, pitted and sliced into approx 1/2″ pieces
* 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
* 2 large eggs, at room temperature
* 1/3 cup sour cream
* 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and arrange the peaches in the dish.
2. Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color. Swirl the pan but don’t stir. Pour evenly over the peaches.
3. Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.
4. Pour the cake batter evenly over the peaches and bake for 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If a peach sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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