How about a little poll before I share the latest #ProgressiveEats event with you. A non scientific and will be used for absolutely nothing but to satisfy my own curiosity type of poll. Here goes. One question:
- What foods are you still making, eating and most interested in seeing recipes for:
Summer Foods or Fall Foods?
Here’s the deal. I know that fall is coming but it is one entire month from now. As a result a lot of bloggers are already gungho gaga over pumpkin. They get more nuts over pumpkin than they do fresh garden tomatoes and in my opinion, there is simply no comparison especially since the pumpkin in question is in a can. To create a similarity I would have to be heralding cans of diced tomatoes in April; months before the real deal was available on the vine. There are definitely two camps. The ‘I shall shout PUMPKIN’ from the rooftops camp and the ‘Oh enough of the pumpkin already, it’s still August’ camp. Any doubt which one I’m in?
If it wasn’t clear then this month’s lineup for Progressive Eats should answer that question. Stone Fruits. They of the peach, plum, apricot, nectarine and cherry variety. Summer all day long fruits. So perfect. Actually a theme picked by my friend Ansh but without any prodding from me at all; I promise!
I recall a ditty my mother taught me once to say at Halloween when I dressed in a girly girl costume with a big curl on my forehead:
There was a little girl who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good she was very, very good,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
That could be said of stone fruits too. Never much sense for me to buy them from Mexico or other far reaching places…if they’re not local they all to often never ripen well and are such a disappointment. But when they are fresh and good? Well, they are very, very good and I can’t get enough of them. I have on occasion been so eager I’ve been happy to haunch over the kitchen sink to enjoy a juicy ripe peach and let the juices dribble where they may and that might just include my shirt; ahh…see why the FedEx guy always eyes me suspiciously? Or he knows I’ve been eating a Colorado peach. Still, that is one version of nirvana.
Another might be having any one of them in a baked good. Baking them brings out even more of their inherent sweetness, softens the fruit and combined with a pastry of some sort can make for results that are simply irresistible. And irresistible is certainly what I was going for while heralding the last days of this glorious summer fruit.
While Georgia is often thought of as the Peach State, I would put up our Colorado peaches from the Western Slope in a heartbreat as a worthy rival. Grown on the western side of the Rocky Mountains, the warm days and cool nights make for amazing peaches. That coolness at night elevates the sugars and they are sweet and juicy and honestly ruin any other peach for me. Give me Olathe or give me death!! OK, maybe a bit dramatic but please do give me Olathe peaches.
This month I wanted to try something new. I’ve always loved Pineapple Upside Down Cake but have heard mention of Peach Upside Down Cake and thought it would be the perfect time to give it a try. I had the peaches, I had some recipe ideas and since I had also been gifted with a local bourbon I thought it would be the perfect addition. A friend of mine works for a company called Experience Pros and one of their clients is the brains behind Squeal Go Pig Black Spiced Rum. Or just Squeal Black Rum. She secured a bottle for me to try and there it was; right there in front of me on the kitchen counter, just crying to be included in my ‘all Colorado’ cake. Done. And done well. For such a young bourbon and especially one from Colorado it has won a number of awards but what sold me? Another reviewer said, “On the palate it’s sweet but not overwhelming. Fruit jam hits the palate first — plums and cooked peaches.” Peaches? See it was meant to be. I did give Georgia a nod with some pecans sent to me from a friend but it’s that combination of peaches and rum that made this cake a standout summer treat.
Make sure you check out the list of Stone Fruit recipes from my friends in Progressive Eats that listed after the recipe. Won’t you join me and celebrate SUMMER?!!
Fresh Peach and Bourbon Upside Down Cake
1 hr 10 mins
For the Peach Topping
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp bourbon
- 4 peaches, cut into 1/2-inch wedges (about 1 1/4 pounds)
For the Cake
- 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp bourbon
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup finely ground pecans
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
To Serve: Fresh peach slices and vanilla ice cream
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the butter and brown sugar in a 10" ovenproof skillet and stir until the mixture looks like wet sand. Add the vanilla and bourbon and cook over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble. Remove from the heat and arrange the peaches in concentric circles over the caramel and set the skillet aside.
- Beat the butter and the remaining 1 cup sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition, then beat in the vanilla and bourbon.
- Whisk the flour, ground pecans, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low; add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, and mix until just incorporated. Pour the batter over the peaches and spread evenly.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. (Cover loosely with foil if the cake is browning too quickly.) Let sit 15 minutes, then invert onto a platter and let cool completely.
- Serve with sweetened peach slices and vanilla ice cream (optional)
I did not peel my peaches; first I hate peeling peaches but I also thought the color of the skin might make it be pretty and I was right! ?
When slicing the peaches and making sections that fit into the skillet, there are ends that are too small so I saved all of those pieces; probably 4 slices per peach and added a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar to them and let them macerate while the cake cooked. Once ready to serve I used those peaches as a fresh component on top of the cake and I loved the layers of cake, fresh peaches and vanilla ice cream. It's optional but good!
- Grilled Peaches, Basil and Honey Appetizer from Miss in the Kitchen
- Black Plum, Avocado, and Mozzarella Salad from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Peach Barbecue Sauce from Stetted
- Lamb and Fresh Plum Tagine from Spiceroots
- Pan-Seared Duck Breasts with Fresh Plum Sauce (GF) from The Heritage Cook
- Hot Curried Georgia Peaches from Never Enough Thyme
- Peach-Bourbon Upside Down Cake from Creative Culinary
- Stone Fruit Panzanella Dulce (Dessert Panzanella) from Pastry Chef Online
- Peach Raspberry Galette from That Skinny Chic Can Bake
- Yogurt Plum Coffee Cake from girlichef
- Gluten-Free Apricot Almond Frangipane Tart from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
- Stone Fruit Cobbler from Food Hunter’s Guide
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is all about Stone Fruits and is hosted by Ansh Dhar who blogs at Spiceroots. With Summer coming to an end, it’s a great time to use the Summer’s abundant bounty in everyday food. We have some great ideas this month to use all the stone fruit – from BBQ Sauce, to curries, to Duck and of course Desserts.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact me for more information.