Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Nectarine & Cherry Upside Down Cake

When we were kids, an upside down cake was an exotic American creation, baked by a friend of my parents.  It was a world away from Victoria sponges and apple tart on a plate, and we couldn't get enough of it.  Pineapple was usually reserved for gammon steaks and glace cherries for buns or Christmas Cake, so to bring the two together with syrupy sponge was a complete revelation.  Nowadays I like my pineapple barbequed, my cherries fresh and my cake a little less sweet.

That's why I decided to recreate this classic cake, but modernise it to reflect tastes that I love, so this cake is crammed full of ripe nectarines and ruby red Morello cherries.  There's no lake of pineapple syrup but the natural juiciness of the fruit creates an altogether more delicious cake.

Nectarine & Cherry Upside Down Cake

2 tbsp Butter, very soft
2 tbsp Demerara Sugar
4 Nectarines, halved & stone removed
75g Cherries, stoned and halved
150g Butter, very soft
150g Caster Sugar
150g Plain Flour
1.5tsp Baking Powder
2 Eggs
1-2 tbsp Milk

Preheat your oven to 180c / Gas Mark 4.

In a large casserole dish or solid cake tin (do NOT use a loose-bottomed tin), butter the base well and scatter the sugar over it.  Arrange the fruit on the base in a pretty pattern, or as haphazardly as you like.

Mix the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs & milk together until well combined and the batter has a loose dropping consistency.  If it seems a bit too solid, add another drop of milk and mix again.

Pour the batter over the fruit, level out and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool until the dish is easy to handle.  Run a knife around the edges to loosen the sponge and then it upside down onto a large plate.

Serve with whipped cream, icecream, creme fraiche, yoghurt, custard or whatever makes you happy. Me, all I need is a big spoon...

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