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White Nectarine and Blackberry Upside-Down Cake (D/P, TNT)
Source: Chef2Chef list
Serves: 6 to 8

4 tbsp. unsalted butter or margarine, plus more if cake pan is used
3/4 cup light brown sugar
4 nectarines
1 cup blackberries or raspberries
1 vanilla bean

1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 tbsp. cornmeal
Pinch of salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
4 eggs at room temperature, separated
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole or 2% milk or pareve substitute

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, add brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, swirling pan to distribute evenly. Cut vanilla bean open and scrape seeds into the mixture.

Save bean for another use. Arrange fruit slices in concentric circles in the pan, then sprinkle berries over all, filling in any empty spaces.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Whisk flour, baking powder, cornmeal, and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

Cream butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer using medium speed. Gradually add 1 cup of sugar, beating until batter is light and fluffy. Beat in yolks and vanilla, scraping down sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Reduce speed to low and add dry mixture and milk, alternately, in three or four batches, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Beat egg whites in a large bowl at low speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium-high, beating to soft peaks. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

Fold one-quarter of beaten whites into batter with a rubber spatula to lighten mixture. Fold in remaining whites until no white streaks remain.

Gently pour batter into pan and spread evenly on top of fruit, being careful not to move fruit around.

Bake until top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the cake (not fruit) comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Place cake on cooling rack for about 2 minutes. Slide a paring knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it. Then, using pot holders, place a serving platter over the skillet tightly. Invert the cake onto the platter. If any fruit sticks to the pan, remove it and position it on top of the cake.

Serve warm with vanilla-whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Author's Notes:
Any fresh stone fruits and berries can be used instead of nectarines. Pineapple or pears can also be substituted. The one constant is the lusciousness of the cake drenched in the caramelized juices and sugars from the fruits.

If possible, bake this cake in a 10" cast-iron skillet, as you can prepare the topping in the skillet, then add the cake, thereby eliminating an extra pan. If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, substitute a 9"x3" round pan and increase baking time by 10 to 15 minutes.

Poster's Notes:
Soy or rice milk can be substituted for the milk.

This recipe is from the Chef2Chef list. It can be pareve if margarine and soy or rice milk are substituted. If you do have a cast iron skillet, I believe this could be cooked on an outdoor grill with a cover. I would guess that time would be considerably less and you would have to be checking it every 10 minutes. I am planning to try that this weekend to see if I can keep the temperature on my gas grill steady enough to bake it through without burning it. It would be nice not to have to heat up the kitchen with the oven. I have pineapple and blueberries to substitute for the nectarines and blackberries.

Posted by Judith Sobel

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A