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Sep 4, 2012

Nectarine Upside-down Chiffon Cake | Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking with Julia

Picture this dripping with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream
Do not let the term "upside-down cake" turn you off. This cake is different.

While Dorie Greenspan, the author of the book, Baking with Julia, describes the cakes in this chapter as "everyday delights" and "simple sturdy cakes," the recipe for this cake was three pages and required 15 ingredients. Holy mise en place, Batman!

This cake consists of a lemon chiffon cake, a toasted almond and oatmeal streusel filling, and nectarines  (or other fruit) that caramelize in brown sugar and butter while the cake bakes. Even though the cake contains one-half of a cup of fresh lemon juice, the lemon flavor is not very pronounced at all.

A chiffon cake is leavened by an egg white meringue into which you fold the rest of the whisked ingredients. The batter is very light and airy and the cake is too. It's sort of a cloud-like coffee cake.

I used white nectarines. Yellow might be prettier, but these were ripe and juicy.

This is a large cake. It is supposed to be baked in a 10 x 3 inch springform pan. I didn't have one, so I used a 10 x 3 inch cake pan I already owned, sprayed it heavily with Bake Klene ZT, and lined the bottom with parchment. I flipped the cake onto my cake stand (I actually put the cake stand upside down onto the cake pan and flipped the whole contraption) and it worked just fine... no sticking at all.... thank goodness... I'm trying to kick my bakeware habit.

To make this cake, pour melted butter into the bottom of the cake or springform pan, press brown sugar into the butter, and press nectarines into the brown sugar.

Make an almond-oatmeal streusel. The recipe called for un-blanched almonds. Mine were slivered  and blanched, but I toasted them first and they worked just fine.

Make the batter. In one bowl combine egg yolks, lemon juice, oil, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer, create the meringue. Carefully fold the the ingredients together to create a light and airy batter. Spread one half of the batter over the nectarines, sprinkle the streusel over the batter, and top with the rest of the batter and smooth.

The recipe calls for a 45 to 50 minute baking time, but I baked mine for 55 minutes because it was still jiggly like a cheesecake at 50 minutes.

When I took the cake out of the oven, it was three inches high.

After twenty minutes, it had shrunk. As long as it shrinks evenly, it's fine. If it collapses heavily in the middle and not the sides, it might be under done.

This is my very first chiffon cake. Would I make this cake again? Yes! The only thing I would do differently is halve the amount of sugar that is in the caramelized nectarines. I might leave out the streusel too to get a different effect.

To get the recipe, visit the fabulous blogs of this week's Tuesday's with Dorie host, Susan of The Little French Bakery.

Would you like to comment?

  1. I'm so glad the cake pan worked for you. Your cake looks great! And thanks for your comment on my blog.

    1. Thanks Marlise. Yes, the cake pan was perfect, and I didn't have to deal with leakage!

  2. Fabulous! Your cake looks lovely and I enjoyed your post. Isn't it amazing how we can all start with the same recipe, have different experiences and yet end up with lovely cake? Blessings, Catherine

    1. Thanks Catherine. Yours looks wonderful. It sure is a lot of steps!

  3. Lovely post. We also enjoyed making this recipe and loved the flavor. It is always fun to see everyone's unique approach to a recipe. Love your presentation.

  4. Yours looks perfect! I'm looking forward to trying this with apples or pears. I'd also like to play around with chiffon cakes a little more. This was so much fun to make.

  5. Your cake has a very nice crumb - pretty.
    I made mine in a cake pan as well - it was a relief that it came out cleanly!


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