I’m enamored by cakes of the upside-down variety and my stack of “to try” recipes is proof of it. There’s something homey and comforting about glistening baked fruit decoratively arranged atop a simply-baked cake. I’m not referring to the kitschy versions with a maraschino cherry winking out from every Dole pineapple ring. The ones I’m interested in focus on thinly sliced citrus, salted caramel, heady spices, nuts or stone fruit – it’s the ubiquitous mid-century dessert, all dressed up.
This adaptation was an attempt to diminish the mounds of the quickly ripening nectarines on my counter.
Caramel Nectarine Upside-Down Cake
Adapted from “Flip for It”, Food Network Magazine, September 2014
|¾ c. + 1 c.||Sugar|
|¼ t. + ½ t.||Salt|
|1 ¼ lb.||Stone fruit, sliced (I used nectarines)|
|1 ½ c.||All-purpose Flour|
|¼ c.||Toasted almonds, Finely ground (optional)|
|1 t.||Baking powder|
|½ t.||Baking soda|
|Zest from 1 lemon|
|½ c.||Unsalted butter, room temperature|
|1 t.||Flaky sea salt (optional)|
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine ¾ c. sugar, ¼ t. salt and 1 ½ T. water in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet until it looks like wet sand. Cook over medium-high heat, swirling pan but not stirring, until sugar is completely melted and amber in color. Remove from heat and arrange nectarines over caramel.
Whisk together the flour, almonds (if using), baking powder, baking soda, ½ t. salt and zest and set aside. Cream butter and 1 c. sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla. Reduce mixer to low, add the flour in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated – do not overmix. Pour batter over nectarines and spread evenly.
Transfer skillet to oven and bake about 50 minutes until golden and inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cover pan loosely with foil if top browns too quickly. Let sit 15 minutes, loosen sides with knife, if needed, then invert onto a platter. If cake doesn’t come out of skillet immediately, do not move skillet, give cake a chance to release. Cool completely. Sprinkle with sea salt before serving (optional).