FRESH PEACH CAKE
Saturday, August 17, 2013
A moist, tender cake riddled with fresh peaches, cinnamon sugar and pecans.
Summer comfort at it's best!
I live in the quaint berg of Peachland, in the heart of the beautiful Okanagan Valley of BC. Lucky am I.
Peachland oozes heady charm with it's rolling hills, lakefront villageness, picturesque locale and ridiculously addictive summertime vibe. The rest of the year, our sleepy little town just hangs out with all it's friendly allure.
But in the summer time, oh baby, Peachland comes alive. It's downright bewitching.
The 7 miles of lakefront become a flurry of splashing and splishing and lazing and laughing, as happy locals and tourists playing near, on, or in the water do what everyone comes to the Okanagan to do.
Here summer isn't just a season, it's something we do.
When you live or summer in Peachland you understand how summer can beguile a person.
And you know what else? They don't call it Peachland for nothin'. You got it!!
Sure, there's not as many of the old timer orchards as there used to be, as we make room for inevitable growth and our burgeoning wine industry. But you'll still find a glorious handful of local orchards with their treasure troves of big, fuzzy, peachy yumminess.
I don't know what it is about peaches, with their frangrant tangle of velvety sweetness and sunset hued flesh, that makes my tastebuds jump up and down with juicy excitement. Maybe it's because peach season is so short, or maybe it's kind of like having a fresh picked pineapple in Hawaii. Nothing quite compares to chomping into a fresh picked peach still warm from the Peachland sun.
So, yesterday, when I came across Ina Garten's Fresh Peach Cake, it took me all of about 2 seconds to click on the oven and start pulling out what I needed to concoct a summer comfort cake. And was Forest Grump ever glad I did.
Thanks Ina for another fine little gem of a recipe, and yet another reason to love peach season in the Okanagan.
We served up our Fresh Peach Cake warm from the oven, just as it was, unadorned. It stands deliciously well alone. But both Forest Grump and I agreed, that it would be good too, with bourbon and brown sugar laced, softy whipped cream or vanilla or coconut ice cream. And if you really wanted to wham bam out a kick-ass summer dessert, after topping with whipped cream or ice cream, drizzle with warm caramel sauce too. Holy schmoley!!
♫♪ Oh Peachland I really love your peaches, wanna' shake your trees!
Lovey dovey, lovey dovey, lovey dovey, all the time! ♫♪
FRESH PEACH CAKE
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large (or 4 medium) ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla and mix until the batter is smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon.
Spread half of the batter evenly in the pan. Top with half of the peaches, then sprinkle with two-thirds of the sugar mixture. Spread the remaining batter on top, arrange peaches on top, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture and the pecans.
Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.