Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
50 g (2oz) butter
175 g (6oz) caster sugar
4 fresh peaches, quartered and stones removed, or 1 x 410g tin of sliced peaches
200 g (7oz) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
200 ml (7fl oz) buttermilk
75 ml (3fl oz) sunflower oil
large pinch of saffron
greek yoghurt or softly whipped cream, to serve
26 cm (101/2 in) diameter ovenproof frying pan
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Place the butter in the frying pan and melt over a medium heat, then sprinkle over 50g (2oz) of the sugar and cook for 3 minutes or until light golden, stirring regularly.
Remove from the heat and add the peaches in a single layer, cut side down. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl, add the remaining caster sugar and mix together.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, sunflower oil and saffron. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, then pour in the buttermilk mixture and whisk together to form a very soft batter.
Pour the batter evenly over the peaches, taking care not to disturb them in the pan, then place in the oven and bake for 30–35 minutes or until slightly springy in the middle and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool for just 5 minutes before turning out by placing an inverted serving plate over the top of the pan and turning the pan and plate over together in one quick movement.
Serve warm or at room temperature with Greek yoghurt or softly whipped cream.