Nectarine Upside-Down Cake

Monday was the first day of autumn.  It has been feeling very autumnal here, between brightly colored leaves and the crisp mornings that make me want to wear long sleeves.  I’m craving soups– though by five o’clock, it’s hot, we’re wearing shorts and I’m repenting cooking something so hot.  I love the fall.

Last week we took a walk to collect leaves.  We were able to identify a few: maple, linden, ash, birch, aspen, cottonwood, mulberry.  We did rubbings of them onto colored paper, and I taped them up on our white board.  I love preserving the leaves between sheets of waxed paper to hang in the window.  I had pressed them flat under dictionaries and atlases only to find I had no waxed paper.  It turns out contact paper works just as well, without the iron.  Sunday we went to our farm’s Harvest Festival, and the kids picked out pumpkins.  The schoolroom is a fall celebration.

So we had a First Day of Autumn Party for dinner.  We made an autumn cake, adapted from my friend Christine’s Plum Upside-Down Cake.  It worked just as well with nectarines.

Nectarine Upside-Down Cake

Cream 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar.

Slice 5-6 nectarines thinly, and mix with sugar-butter.  Line 7 by 11 in square pan with mixture.

Heat oven to 325. 

Cream 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar.  Mix in 2 tsp vanilla and 2 eggs.  Add 1/4 cup buttermilk and mix well.

Sift in 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup cornmeal (1/2 if at high altitude), 2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt.  Stir to moisten dry ingredients.  Pour in over fruit lining pan.

Bake for 45 minutes.    Let the cake cool completely before inverting on a tray.

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