Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Peach cake takes a delightful tumble—and sets world on its right side

Nothing sets the world more delightfully upright  than does a peach upside-down cake.

When we were in our Hawaiian Paradise a few weeks back (sigh—such a memory!), a mango upside-down cake that we were served caught my fancy and went on my cooking wish-list. Since right now we have more peaches than we do hairs on the head, I decided to spring for a peach version before I recreated the mango variety (which I fully intend to do down the road).

This recipe recommended making the cake in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, into which you pour the mix and bake in the oven. My skillet is at our place at the lake and not at the ready, so I used my largest cake pan to house the batter. Things worked just as well. The recipe also calls for the seeds from 1 vanilla bean. I know this would have been delicious, but no time to round up a vanilla bean. One Internet site said an emergency sub is 2 teaspoons vanilla extract for 1 vanilla bean—a good suggestion.

The resulting dessert ended up being part of Hubby’s Father’s Day fare; he was happy to see the fresh peaches he hauled in off peach tree #4 being put to good use. The cake tumbled out cleverly from the cake pan. We plunked some sugar-free whipped topping on it and had ourselves a peachy good time.

Peach Upside-Down Cake

Parchment paper
4 medium peaches (about 1 1/2 pounds) unpeeled and cut into 1/3-inch-thick wedges
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1 cup cake flour (be sure to use cake flour and not self-rising)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided (I used sugar substitute)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature and divided
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
2 large eggs (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1/2 cup sour cream (I used fat-free)
sweetened whipped cream (or sugar-free whipped topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (This helps with cleanup.) Toss peaches with lemon juice. Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Cook 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, 10 minutes or until sugar melts and turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat. Immediately add 1/4 cup butter. Stir vigorously. Spread caramelized sugar to coat bottom of skillet evenly; sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange peach wedges in concentric circles over sugar mixture, overlapping as needed. Split vanilla bean lengthwise; scrape out seeds into bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer. Beat vanilla seeds and remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter at medium speed until all is smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time; beat until blended after each addition. Add sour cream. Beat until blended. Gradually add sifted flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended; stop to scrape bowl as needed. Spoon batter over peaches in skillet; spread to cover. Place skillet on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake is golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center emerges clean. Cool in skillet on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge to loosen. Carefully pour out any excess liquid (if you have any excess) from skillet into measuring cup and reserve. Carefully invert cake onto a serving plate; drizzle with any reserved liquid. Cool slightly (about 10 minutes). Using a serrated knife, cut cake into wedges. Top with whipped topping, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 8 to 12 servings. (Source: Southern Living June 2012)

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