You can dance if you want to

The food: upside down nectarine pecan cake

The story:

Lately, I’ve been listening to the Glee version of the Men Without Hats tune Safety Dance, and wanting to be part of a dance flash mob like the one that danced to the song on Glee.

So when I passed some nice-looking nectarines today, on my way into a grocery store to buy some candy fruit slices, I decided on the spot – perhaps influenced by the “You can dance if you want to” exhortation playing on repeat in my head – to make an upside down nectarine cake. Because I wanted to.

The nice-looking nectarines:

And the fruit slice candies: (What? I bought them, too.)

The recipe I used for the cake – a favorite of my husband E – was adapted from a recipe for Cherry-Nectarine Upside-Down Cake that appeared in Cooking Light magazine in 1998 and has been reproduced all over the internets since. The ground pecans give the cake a nutty texture that complements the creaminess of the buttermilk and the sweetness of the fruit, and imparts a European flavour and sensibility, besides.

The original recipe calls for arranging the nectarine slices spoke-like in the bottom of the cake pan, but I couldn’t be bothered to do that when a haphazard scattering of the slices looks just as tasty to my eye:

And I figure if I can dance if I want to, I can place nectarine slices any way I please, too.

Nectarine-Pecan Upside-Down Cake (adapted from Cooking Light magazine, 1998)

2 cups thinly sliced nectarines (from 2 medium sized nectarines)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons pecans OR almonds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit bottom of 9 inch round cake pan and place inside pan. Spray paper and sides of pan with cooking spray.
3. Spread nectarine slices over paper in a single layer, some overlaps permitted.
4. Combine flour, ground nuts, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Stir to mix.
5. Cream butter in electric mixer, add sugar, mix until combined, then add egg and vanilla, beat well.
6. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, ending with flour mixture. Beat well after each addition.
7. Pour batter over fruit.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a fork inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack.
9. Invert onto plate, peel off parchment paper and admire abstract design of nectarines.
10. Serve with plain yogurt sweetened with maple syrup or honey, or with vanilla yogurt.

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3 thoughts on “You can dance if you want to

  1. Dustin says:

    This nectarine pecan cake turned my frown upside down..cake.

    I left my friends behind and danced cuz I wanted too!

  2. Roxanne says:

    I happened to stumble upon your blog by accident after looking up a recipe for something that happened to be in one of your archived pieces. Love the writing about food, music and various aspects of what’s available in Toronto. I enjoyed my little stay on your site – I’ll be a frequent visitor to your blog! I’m looking forward to trying out a recipe soon.

  3. Christy says:

    Love your blogs!
    I keep coming back for hits of great recipes and where-to-go’s for both at home, and my home town: Montreal.
    Although, I do need to monitor when I visit… there should be an upfront “WARNING: Reading these articles may induce cravings!!” LOL

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