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This Upside Down Nectarine Pancake makes the most of these luscious stone-fruits. The delightful, juicy nectarines are enhanced by the melding of cardamom, nutmeg and caramelly jaggery. Of course, if you don’t have jaggery available, Muscovado, light brown sugar or even plain old granulated sugar will do.
We are at the height now of stone-fruit season. It doesn’t last long enough for me. So I have a tendency to get a bit carried away when I see beautiful nectarines, peaches and plums at the store or farmer’s market. And unfortunately, they all seem to achieve their peak eating at exactly the same moment. That’s what happened with these gorgeous nectarines. Thankfully, my husband had the brilliant suggestion of taking my absolute favorite Upside Down Blueberry Pancake and tweaking it to use up the nectarines. The photos don’t quite do it justice.
You could also substitute or even mix ripe peaches or plums here. And of course, nectarines and blueberries also make for a great combination. The beauty of nectarines is that they have no fuzzy skin like peaches that needs to be peeled. In fact, the peel in the Upside Down Nectarine Pancake seems to absorb so much of the flavor and is so tender that it was an integral part of the dish. The liquid in the pan is all syrupy deliciousness which also means that there is no need for maple or any other syrup. I soak up every drop with the spongey pancake. And if there is any leftover, I eat it up with my finger.
Be sure to check out the the Upside Down Blueberry Pancake.
Yield: 2 to 4 servings
For the nectarine filling:
1/3 cup jaggery, Muscovado, light brown or granulated sugar
Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
26 ozs. of whole nectarines or other stone-fruit (A bit more is fine), cut into slices/wedges about 1/2-inch thick
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 tbsp unsalted butter
For the batter:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp double acting baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp jaggery, Muscovado, light brown or granulated sugar
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup plain, whole milk kefir)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400°F
Place a 9” cast iron skillet on the stove. Put 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut up, into the skillet.
Place 1 cup flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/8 tsp baking soda, 1 tbsp jaggery, Muscovado, light brown or granulated sugar, ½ tsp kosher salt, and ½ tsp ground cardamom and 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Place 1/3 cup sugar in a small bowl.
Finely grate the zest of 1 medium lemon onto the sugar.
Mash the zest and sugar together with a rubber spatula, or rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until the zest and sugar is fully combined and gritty. (If using jaggery, the sugar will melt into almost a paste.) If no one is watching, then by all means, lick your fingers.
Start heating the skillet on medium heat to melt the butter. Reduce the heat to low.
Juice one half of the lemon onto the nectarine. Add one half of the sugar/zest mixture. Gently toss to combine.
Juice the other half of the lemon into butter in the skillet. Add the remainder of the sugar/zest mixture. Stir to combine.
Pour the nectarines into the skillet. Use a spatula or spoon to even them out in the skillet. The butter should be gently bubbling under the nectarines.
Place 4 large eggs into a large bowl and whisk until frothy. Add 1 cup buttermilk (or kefir) and 1 tsp vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the eggs/milk, stirring the batter just enough to combine them.
Remove the skillet from the heat.
Pour the batter evenly all over the nectarines, by swirling from the middle of the pan outwards into a circle.
Put the skillet in the oven, baking at 400°F until puffed and golden-brown, about 20 minutes. You want this to be well browned or the batter will be under-done.
Remove and let cool for a few five minutes.
Serve and enjoy! And don’t forget to spoon all those delicious juices onto the plate. They are perfect for dipping the poufy pancake in.