A review of an Alton Brown cake recipe for personal peach upside cakes. Bake them in ramekins for the perfect summer treat that takes no time to make.
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If you are reading this before August 25, 2019, I got to say that I am excited Alton Brown's Good Eats is coming back. If it's after that, then I am excited it came back!
I have been thinking more about his recipes lately and thought you know it's been a while since I made his Upside Down Peach Cakes.
With some peaches I want to check to see how they baked up, this was the perfect time to break this recipe out again as well as do a review of it for the blog.
Easy to Make Dessert
I always think it's fun when you can have an individual dessert for each person, not just a piece. It makes you feel like your are getting more and your special.
The dessert is pretty simple to make. No special equipment is required. Not even a mixer.
It starts with individual ramekins. I have some colorful ones I love that I got from Cost Plus World Market. You can find them all over the world wide web.
How to Make
The recipe can be broken down into these simple steps.
- Place pat of butter
- Sprinkle brown sugar
- Add sliced peaches
- Add ginger
- Mix up cake batter
- Pour cake batter on fruit
That's a simple 10-step program that anyone can do.
The dessert is really hard to screw up. As long as you don't burn it or overwork your cake batter, you are good to go.
How to Select the Peaches
For ease I like to use late season peaches that are freestone. Usually when you are later in the season, all the peaches have pits you can easily remove. It makes slicing peaches so much easier.
The varieties of peaches that I tried out were:
- Elberta Peaches
- O'Henry Peaches
Both of these varieties I was sent from Pearson Farm. They are old time varieties that have played a huge role in the peach industry, especially in the south.
Most older folk down there now what these varieties are and cherish when they can still find them. Alton actually mentions the Elberta by name in the episode where this dessert first appeared.
This summer, Pearson Farm offered a Summer Classics series with a different classic peach variety shipped out each week for 4 weeks.
Do You Need to Peel the Peaches?
Alton says to. Sorry I don't agree. There is no need to peel them, they will be soft enough once baked that you probably won't really notice them. You can read more about not peeling peaches for desserts in one of my Pearson Farm reviews from 2018.
What Ginger Do You Use?
The recipe calls for crystallized ginger. That does sound yummy to me. However when I was shopping for ingredients for this recipe, the store didn't have any. I looked high and low and couldn't find any.
I could make crystallized ginger however I didn't have a lot of time and my kitchen is not very cool in the summer, so I don't want to spend more time in it than need be.
Instead I bought fresh ginger root in the store and grates it myself. My Microplane does a good job of grating ginger. You just have to wipe it off the bottom as it will just stick on.
Another alternative would be to use ground ginger. I would say abut ⅛ tsp per ramekin, which is what I used for the fresh ginger - I think because I kind of eyeballed it 🙂
Or you can forget the ginger all together and use cinnamon or nutmeg. Personally, I think ginger and peach compliment each other so well that no substitutions would do the dessert justice.
Review of the Recipe
This recipe is really a winner. There is nothing I can say bad about it. It's easy to make and the fruit itself really shines.
You could try using different fruit as well. I saw on the Food Network page someone saying they use bananas - that would be yummy.
The cakes will be the best enjoyed the day you make it, so I wouldn't make them too far ahead. You could bake them while you are eating your dinner and then have a nice, hot, fresh dessert waiting for you and your family/friends.
Don't Skip the Buttermilk
One last piece of advice on this recipe, use the buttermilk it calls for. You will get a better rise out of the cake if you use buttermilk instead of just regular milk.
Other Alton Brown Recipes Reviews You Might Like
Alton Brown's Individual Upside Down Peach Cakes
- 2 tbsp butter divided into 4 pieces
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 medium peaches do not peel
- ½-1 tsp fresh or ground ginger
- 2.5 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp baking soda
- ⅛ tsp kosher alt
- ⅓ cup pure cane sugar
- ½ up buttermilk at room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Set your oven to 350 degrees
- Divide the 2 tablespoons of butter between the ramekins.
- Distribute the brown sugar evenly.
- Cut the peaches into 12 to 14 slices. Set the peaches on top of the sugar, again evenly distributing them.
- Add the ginger on top of each ramekins. Between ⅛ to ¼ tsp per ramekin, depending on how much ginger you like.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl combine, the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.
- In a second bowl combine the melted butter with the pure cane sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients on top of the dry ingredients. Stir util just combined. Don't over work it.
- Pour the batter evenly over each ramekin.
- Set the ramekins on a sheet pan. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until slightly browned on top.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before using an oven mit to grab each ramekin. Run a knife along the sides, then grab a small plate, turn it upside down and put it on top of the ramekin. Turn it upside down so the plate is on the bottom. Tap the ramekin until it slides out. Can be enjoyed hot or cooled.