One of the most anticipated arrivals at our local farm stand is the peaches. These deliciously juicy fruits with their beautiful golden flesh are the height of summer’s goodness. It’s always a struggle to avoid those awful hard and hardly ripe early birds in favor of waiting until the real deal arrives. Fortunately, this year’s crop is in full flavor right now. Now peach pies and cobblers are standard ways to use this fruit. But Andrew loves to find a reason to bake a cake and he found this fantastic recipe for one in “All Cakes Considered”. The book is “a year’s worth of weekly recipes tested, tasted, and approved by the staff of National Public Radio’s ‘All Things Considered’ (Chronicle Books 2009).
|Molly Shannon and Betty White with
one of Betty’s ‘Muffins”
Some of you may be more aware of the Saturday Night Live parodies of this radio show. Called “Delicious Dish” on the show, both Alex Baldwin’s “Schweddy Balls” Ice Cream flavor and Betty White’s “Muffin” were hilariously received double-entendres that are worth looking up at hulu.com or youtube.com. But humor aside, the actual show is like a community cookbook. In fact, this recipe hails from exactly that: “Sharing Our Best” published by the Providence Baptist Church of Gloucester, VA. I can’t help but wonder what the Baptist ladies would have made of “Schweddy Balls” or Ms. White’s “Muffins” …but I am pretty sure it was on past their bedtime.
A woman named Tina Mongold Bryner is given credit for this recipe which allows you to use fresh or even, bite your tongue, canned peaches. In the interest of full disclosure, the author of “All Cakes Considered”, Melissa Gray, preferred the results using canned peaches! (My guess is she’s never cooked with Bridgehampton peaches.) However, Andrew joins her in her assessment that the only real work in making this dish is in the rinsing and slicing of the peaches. He also adds a note about the minute quantity of ginger in the cake. It can be eliminated however it does add something wonderful to the other flavors here so even if you’re not a ginger fan, go ahead and put it in. Here’s the recipe which should yield 16 to 20 pieces of cake:
Recipe for Peach Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Equipment: a 10 inch round tube pan
For the cake:
3 large eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups sliced peaches
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
For the frosting: (Since we love a lot of icing, Andrew doubles this recipe but this is the original with a little more cream cheese in it. )
5 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
To make the cake:
1. Center a rack and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare the cake pan by lining the bottom of a 10-inch tube pan with parchment paper and spraying the sides and bottom with baking spray.
2. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, and oil. Mix on medium speed until just blended.
3. In a separate bowl, dry whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon together. Add to the egg mixture and beat until just combined. The batter will be sticky.
4. With a spatula and/or wooden spoon, fold in the peaches and nuts.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until the cake tests done.
6. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then unmold onto a cake rack. Allow to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
7. With the mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract until smooth.
8. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and ginger. Beat until smooth.
9. Apply the frosting to the cooled cake.