Upside-down cake — with apples, instead of peaches.
Well, actually — we've adapted this recipe three times. We made it with peaches once, and then again with apples. We loved both versions, although peaches were marginally better. Apples are delicious too, but they just aren't as thick and gooey as peaches. We just love the slightly rustic texture and taste of cornmeal, still tender and soft with juicy peaches on top. It's pretty, elegant, and simple.
This recipe from Martha Stewart is an easy skillet dessert. You heat butter and sugar in a heavy skillet, then arrange sliced peaches (or apples) over the hot sugar. Then you beat up a basic cake batter that includes yellow cornmeal, and spread it over the fruit and sugar. Pop in the oven for half an hour and then let it rest 10 minutes. Flip it over and presto! Perfect cake with perfectly arranged fruit on top.
It's impressive, easy, and so scrumptious. We served it in big wedges with little scoops of salty caramel ice cream at a dinner party.
You can see the fine crumb of the cake; it's really moist and tender!
We did make a few changes, though.
• The recipe calls for coarse cornmeal. We used fine cornmeal to keep the texture softer and finer.
• We used brown sugar instead of white. We liked the darker flavor and increased moisture in the cake.
• We skipped the lavender called for in the recipe, and used a few leaves of thyme instead. We also seasoned both cakes with a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon. The apples had cinnamon added to the caramelized butter and sugar, too.
This cake only takes 15 minutes or so to put together, especially when you're using peaches, which don't have to be peeled. Give it a try; it might become your go-to fall dessert too.
• Get the recipe: Peach and Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake at Martha Stewart
Related: Five Desserts to Cook in a Skillet
(Images: Faith Durand)