This summer was all about peaches, plums, and nectarines. Every week we bought what seemed like bushels of them and ate them fresh. But with the cool weather sweeping in, they've all but disappeared from our local super market. On a quick lunch break at Trader Joes, I spotted a last container of peaches hidden behind the apples, pears, and other fall fruits. I knew I had to have just one last week of summer produce before the season ended.
Like any other produce purchased in the District of Columbia, the peaches were as ripe as ripe could be the day that I bought them. So, I decided to eat one fresh, chop one up in a salad, and make something sweet with the remaining three.
Over the summer I had cut out a recipe for Fresh Peach Cake from my Food Network Magazine. I seized it, prepared my ingredients, and baked a cinnamon-sugar coated treat. Maybe I'll have to rethink my dislike of the Barefoot Contessa. She didn't steer me wrong on this one.
Fresh Peach Cake (by Ina Garten)
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 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 the remaining peaches on top, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture and the pecans.
Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.