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Look for me in August for two weeks on Lori Caso and Friends, the cable 20 (Lockport) cooking show. I'm making Peach Upside Down Cake, Scented with Lavender, showing my paintings and talking about the grant I won from the New York State Council on the Arts administered here by Arts Services Initiative of Western New York.


Here is the recipe:

Peach and Cornmeal Upside Down Cake, Scented with Lavender

Inspired by Martha Stewart’s 2008 recipe, then slightly modified by Michelle Marcotte



  • 5 1/2 ounces (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4-5 medium ripe peaches (about 1 1/4 pounds), skins on, pitted, and cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal or polenta
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh lavender, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried lavender
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (I substituted nearly ½ vanilla Greek yogurt plus 1 tbsp water)
  • Whipping cream for serving (beaten with a bit of sugar and vanilla)
  • Extra peach slices for serving



Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, using a pastry brush to coat sides with butter as it melts. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar evenly over bottom of skillet, and cook until sugar starts to bubble and turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Arrange peaches in a circle at edge of skillet, on top of sugar. Arrange the remaining wedges in the center to fill. Reduce heat to low, and cook

until juices are bubbling and peaches begin to soften, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from



Step 2

If using fresh lavender from your garden, cut a few stems then rinse the lavender flowers with water. Pat dry with paper towels. Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, lavender, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat remaining stick of butter and 3/4 cup sugar with a mixer on high speed, until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl. Mix in vanilla and cream or yogurt. Reduce speed to low, and beat in cornmeal mixture in 2 additions.

Step 3

Drop large spoonfuls of batter over peaches, and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 22 minutes. Transfer skillet to a wire rack, and let stand for 10 minutes. Run a knife or spatula around edge of cake. Quickly invert cake onto a cutting board. Tap bottom of skillet to release peaches, and carefully remove skillet. Reposition peach slices on top of cake. Let cool slightly before serving.


Step 4

Before serving, wash 1-2 peaches and cut into slices. Toss with a spoon of sugar if they need it. Beat heavy cream until soft peaks form, add sugar and vanilla and quickly incorporate. Serve the cake with extra slices of peaches and a cloud of whipped cream