Among the gleaming jars of pickles, jams and chow-chow are often litres of canned peaches. They taste like sunshine, and come fall, a couple of these shiny orange orbs with a bit of cream or ice cream is a tonic. We’ve used peaches canned in juice for this deep-dish cake, which can be made in a baking pan, casserole or skillet—round or square. And because peaches come in all sizes, the number you will need will vary; just fill the bottom of the baking pan.
3 to 4 peaches, canned in juice or fresh, cut into approx. 1/2-inch slices (about 1 1/2 cups sliced)
3 tbsp + 1/2 cup butter 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 free-run eggs
1/2 tsp maple extract
3/4 cup kefir, buttermilk or reserved canned peach juice (not syrup)
1/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
Preheat oven to 350°F.
If using canned peaches in juice (not syrup), set sieve over bowl and drain, then slice peaches about 1/2-inch thick. Reserve juice.
Set 9- or 10-inch high-sided baking pan or cast-iron skillet over very low heat; add 3 tbsp of the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup and warm gently until melted. Stir to combine and spread evenly. Remove from heat to cool. When cool, butter or spray sides of pan.
Arrange peach slices over bottom of pan or skillet any way you like; set aside while preparing batter.
In bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In bowl of stand mixer or with electric beaters, add 1/2 cup of the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until nicely creamed, about 2 minutes. While still mixing, add eggs one at a time; add maple extract. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl every now and then.
Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture in a few additions, alternating with kefir, until combined. Do not overmix or cake will be leathery.
Finally, fold in blueberries.
Spoon batter over arranged peaches and carefully smooth without shifting peaches too much! This is a thick batter.
Bake for about 60 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on the juiciness of the peaches and the size and depth of the pan. A cake tester or toothpick inserted into middle of the cake should come out clean but not completely dry. If cake is darkening too much, lightly place a piece of foil overtop; take a look at about the 40-minute mark.
When done, let cool for about 5 minutes; run butter knife around sides of the pan, then invert onto plate or bring skillet right to the table if the notion of flipping a hot, gooey cake flips you out!
Serve a little warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.
TIP Upside down cakes tend to bubble sticky stuff, so place the cake pan on a cookie sheet to catch any sugary drips.
Save the juice (or syrup) from canned fruit. From lychee to peaches and every fruit in between, the juice or syrup it’s canned with is tasty stuff and shouldn’t go down the drain. Here are some tasty ways to use it up.
• In drinks: Add a splash to jazz up sparkling water, concoct a cocktail or sweeten a smoothie.
• In baking: Use canned fruit juice as an alternative to milk in cakes, muffins and pancakes. If using syrup, experiment with how much less sugar to use in the recipe.
• With meats: Reduce it over a low flame and use to glaze pork and poultry; add it to sweeten barbecue sauce.
To view more in the Farmhouse recipe series, click the links below:
Farmhouse Cabbage Rolls
Serves 6 – makes about 15 rolls
Classic Beef Stew With Dumplings
From Hudson, Quebec, now living in Port Hope, Ontario, Signe is a restaurant chef-turned-writer who tells award-winning stories and creates delicious recipes for such publications as: LCBO’s Food & Drink, Manna Pro Hearty Homestead, The Harvest Commission, and Today’s Parent; she published her first book – Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs; Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden with 100 Recipes – in 2015. She studied Fine Art History and Humanities at the University of Toronto, and York University; she graduated with honours from OCAD University; she earned her Wine Specialist Certificate from George Brown College.