People will often come to me with that burning question, “Mama, what’s you favorite summer fruit to bake with?” Without wavering, I look them straight in the eye and answer, “peaches”.
I know there are those of you who stand steadfast in your belief that berries are the king of summer baked goods. There are yet others who rally around the other stone fruits such as nectarines and plums claiming they are best for the season’s baking. But I stand quite confidently behind the peach. It’s golden and sweet, and much like summer itself.
I found this recipe in the Sliver Palate Cookbook for Fresh Peach Cake about 15 years ago, and have been making it for my family ever since. For me, it is the essence of summer comfort food. It’s heavenly served warm, right out of the oven. And for those of you who dare to walk on the wild side, you can add a dollop of vanilla ice cream, and dice up some fresh peaches to sprinkle over top…if you dare.
Fresh Peach Cake
Fresh Peach Cake
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
3 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and butter a 9″ cast iron skillet. In a medium bowl, sift your dry ingredients together and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light in color. Beat in the egg.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and then the milk until all ingredients are incorporated.
Using a spatula, pour the batter into the skillet smoothing it out with an offset spatula, and then place your peach slices on top of the batter. Bake this for 25 minutes.
For the topping, add the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to a small bowl. Cut your chilled butter into small pieces and then using the back of a fork, mash the butter to incorporate it into the sugar mixture. After the cake has baked for 25 minutes, quickly open the oven and crumble this mixture on top of the peaches.
Bake the cake for another 8-10 minutes, until cake is firm and pulls away from the edges.