My Aunt Tina’s pineapple upside down cake is a thing of vintage glory. Golden and glistening, it looks pulled from the glossy pages of a late 1960s cookbook, yellow with incandescent light. And while I love Tina’s pineapple version, I though it would be fun to use her cake as a template for other flavor combinations. Enter peach and lavender! The subtle floral herbaceousness is delicious with the bright acidity and sweetness of peaches. Try this cake with any combo of your favorite canned (or roasted) fruit.
For one 9 inch cake
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 14-ounce can of halved peaches (in juice, not heavy syrup)
1/2 cup peach juice, reserved from can
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons fresh lavender flowers
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Pre heat oven to 350 F.
Make the syrup first. In a small pot, stir together the lemon juice, sugar, and lavender. Heat the mixture on medium for about 10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolves and the liquid is clear. Take off the heat and set aside while you prepare the cake batter.
Spray a 9 inch cake pan with non-stick spray, then pour the melted butter into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter, and press down, to moisten all of the sugar. Separate the peaches from the juice, and dry them out on a paper towel. Slice the peaches in half, and arrange in the pan in whatever pattern you like (i did a sort of pin wheel design).
For the batter, sift the dry ingredients and set aside. Whip the eggs for one minute on high, until light and frothy. Add the sugar slowly, still beating on high until the eggs are very pail and light (2 more minutes). Add the vanilla and peach juice, beating slowly. Add the dry ingredients, also beating on low. Pour the batter evenly over peaches in the pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and pulling away from the edges.
Once baked, immediately flip the cake out onto a platter. Do this by placing the platter over the pan, and flipping gently. Don’t immediately remove the pan. Let it rest for a minute or two so it can completely unstick itself.
While the cake is warm, cover the entire cake with the homemade syrup with a brush. Let the cake sit for 30 minutes, just to let the syrup soak in. Serve alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!