Here's a photo of our street, after a huge tree fell across some power lines:
I settled on a Peach Cake recipe from The Silver Palate cookbook as a start, but adjusted it, since I was planning to bake it upside-down style in a cast iron skillet. I doubled the cake ingredients and of course, added butter and brown sugar for the upside-down part.
Since there was no electricity, there was no electric mixer, but I pulled out this relic I had picked up at a garage sale years ago. There's a reason these things were invented - they really work. It creamed the butter and sugar no problem. I enlisted my neighbor Sherry, who was looking for something to do amid the power outtage, and put her to work beating the ingredients. It blended everything beautifully. The only problem was that in our chit-chat, I got distracted and added baking soda instead of baking powder.
Yikes -- would it rise? Would it taste ok? Only one way to find out. I preheated my new grill, which has a temperature gauge on the outside, to 350 degrees. I turned the burners on only one side, and placed the cast iron skillet on the other. Then I closed the lid and waited. After 20 minutes, I took a peek and it had risen just fine.
I flipped it over onto a plate, and cut a slice. The verdict? Well, I had to enlist some helpers to let me know what they thought.
That's where the neighbors come in. An impromptu tea party was called for - so whoever was around gathered on my deck for cake and tea.Everyone declared the cake delicious, but maybe they were just being nice. I detected a baking soda flavor. But that won't stop me from making this cake again - next time I'll follow the recipe to the letter.
Now for the giveaway. Since having a tea party can be a fun event, I'm giving away this tea set, which I had been planning to use as a giveaway for quite a while, but never got around to. This brand-new tea service has been sitting on my basement floor, but when I removed things ahead of the hurricane, I rediscovered it. And one of you readers can own it. Just leave a comment at the end of my blog - not in my email please. You don't need to have your own blog to leave a comment. Just leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.
Upside Down Hurricane Irene Peach Cake
for the cake batter:
8 T. butter
1/2 cup sugar + 2 T.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
a few gratings of nutmeg
For the top part (when flipped)
4 T. butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
5 or 6 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, melt the butter and brown sugar. Arrange the peach slices over the sugar and butter.
For the cake batter, beat the butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs. Sift dry ingredients together. Beat half of dry ingredients into creamed mixture and beat in half of milk. Repeat, beating well. Batter will be thick.
Pour into the pan over the peach/brown sugar/butter mixture. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. If you want to try to bake on the outdoor grill, and you have a temperature gauge on the grill, bring it to 350 degrees, turning on only half the burners. Place the cast iron skillet on the other half of the grill and close lid. Check after 20 minutes and continue baking until toothpick in center comes out clean. Serve warm if possible.