Sometimes everything's just upside down. It's like waking up on the right side of the bed, but you do it, you know, upside down. And try as you might, you can't flip it over - you're a mental roly poly. Today was such a day - like I'd had a frontal lobotomy that left me without clear thought, without any eloquence, just totally upside down. When things are that turned around, you need something sweet, like this upside-down peach-rhubarb polenta cake -- because even when it's upside down, it's alright.
(from about 3 medium // about 14 ounces)
(about 2 stalks)
at room temperature plus extra for the cake pan
plus extra for the cake pan
(about 2 ounces)
at room temperature
at room temperature
Combine peach slices, rhubarb, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a large nonreactive bowl, toss to coat, and set aside until juicy, at least 5 minutes.
Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in the middle. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with extra butter and extra flour; tap out excess flour. Then line the pan with a round of parchment paper, cover with additional butter and flour, tap out excess, and set aside.
Check out this post for a pointer on how to line a cake pan with parchment paper.
Combine 1 1/3 cups of flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine and break up any lumps; set aside.
Place the 1 stick of butter, brown sugar, and remaining 3/4 granulated sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on a medium speed, until the butter is creamy and consistency of wet sand. Add the eggs, one at a time, letting each egg fully incorporate before adding the next. Add the juice or milk, vanilla extract, and mix until combined (it make look curdled at this point but don't worry about it), about 1 minute. Reduce mixer to low and add dry ingredients, little by little, and mix until just incorporated.
Arrange fruit mixture on bottom of the cake pan (including any excess juices) then spoon the batter evenly over the fruit and spread it out evenly. Bake until the cake is golden brown, evenly risen, springs back when lightly pressed, and a cake tester or skewer inserted in the middle comes out with only a few crumbs, about 35 to 45 minutes.
Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Place a plate upside down on top of cake pan; invert cake onto plate. Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably with ice cream or whipped cream.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp