Nectarines so sweet and fresh, they’re turning my world upside down! # 131: Nectarine Upside Down Cake
Reasons #346 & 347 why nectarines are superior to peaches: less fuzz, more tart flavor. They’re truly the best stone fruit of the season! Besides cherries, of course. What’s you’re favorite type of stone fruit?
Considering the definition of a stone fruit as a fruit with pulp/flesh surrounding a single pit, can we add avocados to the list? I vote yes!
I was lucky enough to spend last weekend in South Lake Tahoe – no better way to ring in the start of summer! We stopped at both the Dixon Fruit Market and the Yolo Fruit Stand for some stone fruit goodness. My loot included apricots, nectarines and cherries all at peak ripeness. Aww yeahh.
Oh hello there!
Any suggestions for neatly slicing super ripe nectarines? I did my best without bruising them, but I’m sure there’s an easier way! I scored each one into 8 slices then carefully cut each one off the pit. Phew.
First step of an upside down cake is to make the glue that will hold the fruit on when you flip it out. This recipe called for a brown sugar and butter caramel and I had no complaints. Since I didn’t have a cast iron pan at the cabin, I just stirred the butter and sugar into my cake pan and popped it into the preheated oven for a few minutes. *Dolly Parton voice* Til gold n’ bubbly!
Careful to not burn your fingers, arrange your sliced fruit on top of your caramel. This kind of cake solves the whole fruit-sinking-in-cakes problem since the fruit cooks at the bottom from the start! Whoever invented it was a genius. I’ve somehow never made one before, and my main worry was having the fruit stick to the pan instead of the cake at flipping time.
Not sure why, but cornmeal cake sounded like the perfect match for these nectarines. Maybe because it gives it a little more texture than a classic butter cake? Or maybe gives the impression of being more savory against the sweetness of the fruit? Either way, I chose a cornmeal recipe with cinnamon added.
The only leaving agent is egg, so not too much rise and promising it a rich (hopefully not too dense) crumb.
Bam! The extra moisture from the caramel and fresh fruit soaked into the cake and made it decadent. When I first took it out of the oven there was almost too much liquid bubbling everywhere (eek!) but it all soaked in perfectly. (I also had to cook it way longer than the recipe called for, but that might have been the altitude.)
The pattern from the bottom of the pan makes for an interesting design. We ate it both warm and cold and it was delicious both ways – win-win!