For our first installment of my Foodie Family series, I bring you something tasty from my dad’s kitchen. Papa, as we’ve always called him, or Pops, but that’s when we got older and I guess it’s a little like saying ‘dad’ instead of ‘daddy’. My memories of my dad’s cooking run deep. There were the mountains of pancakes that he never wanted to run out of. There was the split pea soup that we all thought we’d never be able to eat again. You see, my parents were divorced and we’d spend a typical weeknight dinner over at his place. One night he made some soup and froze the rest, you know, for another time. We were positive we ate that soup every time we went over there, for like a year. In reality it was probably 3 or 4 times, but we were dramatic teenagers (redundant?) and it was the WORST. Now he makes a really mean stir fry. Had some last time we were in Portland, absolutely delicious. Do not let your kids eat it though. He hasn’t figured out that his grandkids can’t eat his food because it’s too spicy. Remy gave it a good go this last time, sucking in air after each bite trying to cool his mouth off. Then started to run and get snacks to ‘share’ with the table. I’m pretty sure he just needed something he could eat. (Papa, I say this with nothing but love)
Today though, he’s given us a seasonal treat. On top of other things, my dad is quite the baker. Not something that I naturally lean towards at all. Bah, I hate to admit it but I struggle with the unhealthy nature of baking as I get older. My metabolism just isn’t the same! Sugar. Fats. Carbs. No! I get over it though.
Today we’re sharing a different take on the pineapple upside down cake – one of my dad’s favorites (see I learned something new in this process!!). Pops picked up some fresh peaches at a farm stand last week on a bit of a road trip, and had some rhubarb from his yard in the fridge. Once he realized those flavors would play nice, he went for the upside down cake. I’m glad he did. I never would have chosen this to do on my own, so I was happy to try something a bit new. And who can resist doing a little sliced fruit art atop a cake? No one.
As my dad pointed out to me, this cake isn’t as sweet and buttery as its pineapple cousin. I like that and appreciate the subtlety of flavors. There is a delicate nature to the sweet and tart – something you could serve at a brunch or for dessert. Preferably a bit warm still, as it’s quite good like that. I did find that it keeps well for a couple days in the fridge, and was excellent as a breakfast treat (think coffee cake, but fruitier). Perhaps I’m just making excuses for serving cake for breakfast. Drop the kids at preschool soon after and you don’t even have to deal with the sugar high. Wink wink.
what you need:
for the cake
- 1 cup cake flour (if you need to make your own cake flour, because you’re like me and don’t have this on hand, go here, it’s really easy)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 med eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/8 cup milk
for the topping
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 medium (1 1/2 cups) fresh peaches, peeled, sliced
- 1 cup thinly sliced fresh rhubarb
- Preheat oven to 350°F, grab a 9 inch round cake pan (ungreased) and set aside
- In small bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt with a wire whisk
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix until completely combined. Slowly add flour alternately with milk. Batter should be smooth.
- Combine brown sugar and butter for topping in ungreased 9-inch round cake pan – spreading it out on the bottom of the pan. Arrange peach slices and rhubarb on top of sugar mixture. I like to play with designs here.
- Gently pour cake batter over topping in pan. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Loosen sides of cake by running knife around inside of pan; invert cake onto serving plate. Let stand 10 minutes; remove pan. Serve cake warm with whipped cream, if desired.